Fires forcing Chargers to practice in Tempe - East Valley Tribune: News

Fires forcing Chargers to practice in Tempe

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Posted: Monday, October 22, 2007 2:32 pm | Updated: 7:12 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The San Diego Chargers will move their practices to the Valley this week, and maybe even their home game Sunday against Houston because of the massive wildfires in southern California, the Cardinals said.

“We’ve told them, ‘In whatever way we can accommodate you, let us know,’ ” Cardinals spokesman Mark Dalton said Monday.

The Cardinals, who are in their bye week, have only a Wednesday morning practice scheduled this week at their Tempe practice facility. The Chargers plan to practice there Wednesday through Friday.

University of Phoenix Stadium, where the Cardinals play, is hosting an international motorcycle show Friday through Sunday.

“As of now, we have an event booked until 5 p.m. Sunday,” said Scott Norton, the stadium’s director of marketing.

But Monday night is open, he said.

Four years ago, in a similar situation, the Chargers moved a Monday night home game to Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium.

“We’re trying to figure it out,” Chargers spokesman Scott Yoffe said. “We’ll have an announcement if anything is imminent.”

As for ASU, the school had not been contacted by anybody yet, according to spokesman Mark Brand.

LaDainian Tomlinson, the league’s reigning MVP, was among several Chargers players, coaches and staff members who had to evacuate their homes.

The Chargers, who had just returned from their bye week, canceled practice Monday. Players were dismissed so they could take care of their families, spokesman Bill Johnston said.

As of late Monday morning, wildfires fanned by fierce desert winds forced the evacuations of nearly 250,000 people in San Diego County.

“There’s nothing we could do today,” Chargers coach Norv Turner told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We have a dozen guys who have evacuated their houses and have stuff they’ve got to deal with.”

The Qualcomm Stadium parking lot is being used as an evacuation center.

“We’ll just see what happens,” Turner said. “The air quality is only getting worse.”

Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said he’s assured the Chargers “that our organization is available to assist in making what is a very difficult situation more bearable.

“We have been in conversations with the league and the Chargers most of the day and have let them know that we will do whatever we need to accommodate their team in terms of practicing, using our training facility and preparing for their game this weekend,” Bidwill said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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