The San Francisco 49ers announced Monday their next two home games will be played in Arizona due to new coronavirus restrictions in Santa Clara County.
The team's Week 13 and Week 14 home games against the Buffalo Bills and Washington Football Team will be played at State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers said.
"The Cardinals organization, State Farm Stadium and League officials have been supportive and accommodating as we work through the many logistical issues involved in relocating NFL games," the team said in a statement.
It's still unclear where the 49ers will hold practices while they are away from their facility in Santa Clara.
Santa Clara County announced rules Saturday that include a three-week ban on practices and games for contact sports starting Monday. The Niners were on a plane getting ready to travel to Los Angeles, where they beat the Rams 23-20 on Sunday, when the players and coaches heard about the rules.
Now they will likely head on an even longer road trip while trying to make a late-season playoff run. San Francisco is currently one game out of a playoff spot.
“The biggest thing for me is us all leaving our families,” coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game. “We’re all human just like everyone else. It’s a big deal to leave your family for the whole month of December. A huge deal, as everyone knows. This virus is a huge deal.”
Shanahan said it was “extremely disappointing” the players and coaches learned about the new rules on social media as they were on the plane.
The county said the dramatic rise in cases required “quick action” and that the priority was making sure there is enough hospital space to deal with the coronavirus and any other health issues.
“The 49ers are one of the thousands of organizations impacted by our most recent actions,” the county said in a statement. “The County of Santa Clara has been in regular communication with the 49ers both before and after the announcement of the revised mandatory directive affecting all contact sports. We continue to do everything we can to support the 49ers, as well as all local businesses, affected communities, and families impacted by the pandemic.”
The 49ers (5-6) have five regular season games remaining. At this point, they'll only play one more game back home at Levi's Stadium — a Week 17 showdown with the Seattle Seahawks.
- Week 13 vs. Buffalo (game to be played at State Farm Stadium in Arizona)
- Week 14 vs. Washington (game to be played at State Farm Stadium in Arizona)
- Week 15 at Dallas
- Week 16 at Arizona
- Week 17 vs. Seattle
The rules also will impact the San Jose Sharks of the NHL and college teams at Stanford and San Jose State.
There is no start date yet for NHL training camp but some Sharks players have been taking part in voluntary rehabilitation and training in a socially distanced setting at the team’s facility in San Jose. The team said those will have to be modified to comply with the health order.
“We are reviewing what options may be available locally to allow these players to receive rehabilitation treatment and continue their training for the upcoming season,” the team said in a statement.