For a brief moment Tuesday it looked like the San Francisco 49ers could officially host fans at 20 percent capacity at home games. As part of its COVID-19 reopening plan, California cleared having fans at outdoor sporting events at 20 percent capacity.
And then Santa Clara County officials chimed in with their own edict: nope, not gonna happen anytime soon.
Under the new state guidelines, sporting events in counties considered “orange tier” or better can host fans in outdoor venues. That would allow the 49ers — whose stadium is located in Santa Clara — to host fans at 20 percent capacity. Santa Clara moved into the orange tier Oct. 14.
The 49ers responded to the good news Tuesday. The team thanked California Gov. Gavin Newsom and said it would work with public health officials to “implement a plan.”
But shortly thereafter, Santa Clara County informed the 49ers they would not be granting them permission to host fans.
“Audiences at professional sporting events will not be allowed anytime soon in Santa Clara County, and theme parks will not resume operation,” the county said in a statement. “We must all continue to prioritize reducing the spread of COVID-19, creating conditions that will allow our businesses, schools, and other community organizations to operate safely.”
The 49ers next home game is Nov. 5, when they take on the Green Bay Packers.
Multiple NFL teams have allowed fans to attend games in 2020
If allowed, the 49ers would have joined a number of other NFL teams that have hosted fans at games in 2020. The Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs hosted fans from the start of the season. As the year has progressed, other teams — like the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers — have opened their stadiums to limited fans.
Both the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints find themselves in slightly different scenarios. The Dolphins continue to allow 13,000 fans at games despite local government giving the team permission to host fans at 100 percent capacity. The Saints, meanwhile, are publicly fighting with New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell for the right to host fans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this season.
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