Weather forecast looks better for Carrier Classic


City News Service

A middle-of-the-night decision on whether Friday’s Quicken Loans Carrier Classic basketball game will be held on the USS Carl Vinson’s flight or hangar decks will no longer be necessary, thanks to updated weather forecasts showing a reduced chance of rain.

Right now, everything is all go for up here on the flight deck,’’ organizer Bob Mazza said.

The first-of-its-kind contest pits University of North Carolina against Michigan State University — two traditional college-basketball powerhouses — in a game set to tip off just after 4 p.m. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are scheduled to attend.

Earlier this week, with a strong Pacific storm in the forecast for San Diego, organizers scheduled a meeting for 3 a.m. Friday to determine whether the game could be played outdoors. An alternate playing court was constructed on the hangar deck, if necessary.

But the National Weather Service was now forecasting that most of the rain will come Saturday and should be lighter than first expected.

The main playing area on the flight deck is magnificent,’’ Mazza said. Grandstands have been constructed to hold about 7,000 military members who will watch the game. There are no tickets for the public.

The event will also include performances by the musical acts Five for Fighting, Billy Currington and B. Taylor.