The San Francisco 49ers have a home again.
After being banned from playing in their home stadium due to new COVID-19 regulations in Santa Clara County, the Niners have reached an agreement with the Arizona Cardinals to play their Week 13 and 14 games at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
"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.
The Cardinals seemed open to sharing their home on Twitter, too.
Just a few basic rules about the house...
If there’s any food you like, we suggest you put your name on it or it will be thrown out... by us.
And don’t ever, ever, ever touch our drum set. https://t.co/WcJlcWffBT
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 1, 2020
Sudden ban led to confusion, questions
To try and stop the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Santa Clara County announced a three-week ban on all contact sports (professional, college and youth) on Saturday, which left the Niners in need of a temporary home. Thankfully Sunday’s game was scheduled to be played at SoFi Stadium, the home of the Los Angeles Rams, but the sudden and surprising announcement left head coach Kyle Shanahan frustrated by the lack of answers and concrete information.
“I get it, they made that decision, we’ve got to deal with it,” Shanahan said after Sunday’s game, via The Athletic. “But to find that out through a tweet or a press conference where I have an entire plane coming up to me, I have all wives and everyone’s girlfriends, everyone’s family members, kids, saying that what they heard there, are we going to be gone for the entire month of December? Are we going to be quarantined for 14 days when we get back? That’s all we could talk about for the last 18 hours, because we got no answers from them.”
While not all those questions have been answered (information about practice arrangements are still forthcoming), the Niners and their families at least know where they’ll be playing the next two weeks, and so do their opponents. Instead of traveling to San Francisco for their Week 13 and 14 games, the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Football Team will head to Arizona.
What about other home games?
Those aren’t the only home games left on the Niners’ schedule. The final game of the regular season, Week 17’s matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, is scheduled to be played at Levi’s Stadium on Jan. 3. That’s over a month away, past the ban’s expiration date, but there’s no guarantee that it won’t be extended.
If the ban is extended and the Niners end up needing a home for Week 17, they could be in trouble. While the Cardinals are scheduled to play the Rams at SoFi Stadium in Week 17, State Farm Stadium is hosting the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2. Hosting the Niners after an event like that might be impossible, even with a limited number of fans in the stadium.
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