The San Francisco 49ers have concluded their search for a new home venue after Santa Clara Country, where Levi’s Stadium is located, issued new COVID-19 regulations that include the temporary ban on all high school, collegiate, and professional sports. The team announced on Monday that its Week 13 and 14 home games against the Buffalo Bills and Washington Football Team will be played at the Cardinals’ home stadium, State Farm Stadium in Arizona.
The move comes in the aftermath of California experiencing its worst surge of COVID-19 yet. San Francisco and San Mateo counties rolled out similar restrictions to that of Santa Clara, which limited the nearby options for the 49ers as they searched for a new temporary home. Under Santa Clara County’s new restrictions, a 14-day quarantine is required for all those traveling to and from the country from more than 150 miles away, which Buffalo and Washington certainly fall under, which meant the Niners had to look elsewhere.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan expressed his disappointment on Sunday with the county’s decision and the lack of communication between the county and the team, given the cooperation between the sides previously.
“We’ve been working with them as a partner, just trying to figure it out,” Shanahan said. “For us to be heading out here yesterday and the relationship we have with them, for all of our players and coaches and everyone on that plane and our wives to find that out while we’re getting on a plane and no one to tell us. It was just extremely disappointing.”
As the rest of the country deals with the COVID-19 surge, the NFL has not been able to hide from the pandemic either. A number of teams, including the Steelers, Ravens, and Colts, have recently battled with positive COVID-19 tests popping up all over their respective organization and, in the case of Steelers-Ravens, their game needed to be rescheduled twice. The league also sent out a memo to all 32 clubs informing them that all in-person activities will be halted on Monday, Nov. 30 and Tuesday, Dec. 1 to try and limit the number of positive tests that could come out of the Thanksgiving holiday.