49ers could be evicted from Levi’s Stadium with Santa Clara County banning sports
Santa Clara County officials have announced a ban on all sports related activities for the next three weeks, imperiling two upcoming San Francisco 49ers’ home games during that span, ESPN’s Nick Wagoner is reporting.
Santa Clara County officials say that no pro or college sports teams are able to have games or practices in the county that include direct contact for the next three weeks. That, of course, includes the #49ers, who have two home games (Dec. 7 and 13) scheduled in that window.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) November 28, 2020
While San Francisco currently plays in their home stadium without fans in attendance due to statewide California regulations meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the decision to suspend athletics will only impact the single county. While the Niners have yet to publicly comment on the matter, one potential option would be to move the games to the Oakland Coliseum, that hosts the Athletics of Major League Baseball, and was home to the Raiders prior to their move to Las Vegas.
The decision by the Santa Clara county comes amidst an increase in the number of coronavirus cases across the country. While the NFL has largely succeeded in executing its season despite the pandemic, the past week has been a particular challenge, before the potential displacement of the San Francisco franchise.
Scheduled to headline the league’s slate of Thanksgiving day games, the Ravens-Steelers match was postponed to Tuesday night, following a rash of positive cases, that has, until this point, affected 18 players.
The new restrictions by Santa Clara will also highlight the potential for similar moves by other jurisdictions around the nation. With the recent surge, other cities have discussed the possibility of reinstating stay-at-home orders that were used earlier in the year at the start of the outbreak. Should multiple teams face displacement as a result of local health protocols it is unclear what the NFL’s response would be.
For the moment however, the league is likely only interested in tackling one problem at a time.