Kyle’s update, 10:07, a.m. PT: It’s official, the 49ers will play their next two games in Arizona. Here is the team’s official statement:
“The San Francisco 49ers have come to an agreement with the National Football League and Arizona Cardinals which allows the 49ers to host their Weeks 13 and 14 home games against the Buffalo Bills and Washington Football Team at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.”
The 49ers still must figure out where they’ll practice during the week, and it’s not off the table that they stay locally somewhere outside of Santa Clara County. With that said, logistically it makes sense to practice in Arizona.
On November 27, the Cardinals announced that their game this upcoming Sunday would be closed to the general public based on the latest COVID-19 information and advice from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Only family members would be allowed to watch. It’s unlikely that fans would be allowed at State Farm Statdium.
Lindsay Jones of The Athletic reported that the San Francisco 49ers might play their remaining games in Glendale, Arizona, at the Cardinals’ State Farm Stadium. This comes after Santa Clara County announced new COVID restrictions that would keep the Niners from playing their next two home games at Levi’s Stadium.
So, the 49ers must find an alternative to Levi’s Stadium for their upcoming games the next two weeks against the Bills, a week from Monday, and Washington, which takes place on the following Sunday. San Francisco would also need to find a place to practice and get treatment as well.
Since the 49ers and Cardinals do not share the same home dates for the rest of the season, Stae Farm Stadium makes sense for both sides. Jones noted that Texas, where the Niners and the Cowboys do not share the same home dates in December, could be an option as well since both states aren’t strict with their COVID protocols. Living in Arizona, you’d think that there hasn’t been a pandemic in the past couple of months as there aren’t any restrictions.
We spoke yesterday about how Oakland and Alameda county may not make sense since Alameda County could follow Santa Clara County and put in place the same restrictions. That would put San Francisco back at square one. One of the issues that could be problematic would be if the team didn’t get back into the Bay Area until Monday when the new COVID protocols take place. That would force a 14-day quarantine. With the game being an afternoon kickoff, San Francisco should be back home well before midnight.
In Arizona, the 14-day quarantine, as well as the strict protocols, don’t exist. Logistically, it’d be the easiest move as it’s only a two-hour flight to the greater Phoenix area. The 49ers could get everything they need to be accomplished, from rehabbing to your typical day-to-day activities. We should hear an announcement within a couple of days.