The 49ers may be able to resume activities within California in light of COVID-19, as governor Gavin Newsome announced early June as a reopen target date.
So much for the San Francisco 49ers exploring out-of-state options for training camp and potential preseason activities in light of nationwide COVID-19 shutdowns.
On Tuesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to allow teams to reopen their facilities as long as both state and local ordinances and orders allow. Yet the Niners were potentially going to be affected much more differently and were even considering relocating training camp to a less-populated state, such as Nevada or Arizona.
Now, however, the news landscape changes a bit for San Francisco.
In a release from California Gov. Gavin Newsome, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times‘ Arash Markazi, the state could start permitting pro sports returning as early as June:
The first week of June appears to be the scheduled target.
There’s a bit of a caveat here, though, in that Newsome said professional sports would have to be conducted without fans in attendance. This has been one suggested approach to limiting a second COVID-19 breakout in densely congested areas of any arena or stadium.
Originally, the Governor speculated California could be without any large-scale gatherings until much later in the year, perhaps November. While that could still be true, at least insofar as fans in attendance, at least the path seems clear towards getting professional sports back on track.
Northern California teams, such as the San Jose Sharks, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, have all seen their respective leagues’ 2020 seasons put on temporary hold.
The NFL, which won’t officially kick off until September, hasn’t been largely affected yet.
While this is potentially good news for sports-hungry fans throughout the state, some like cornerback Richard Sherman are questioning the motives behind the change in date.
“Money changes everything,” Sherman tweeted shortly after the news was announced. “Teams started exploring options outside the state and all of a sudden the timeline changed.”
There’s probably a lot of truth to that, although most casual fans will just be happy to find some return to normalcy amid what has been one of the strangest and more challenging periods in recent history.
Even if that normalcy winds up including fan-less venues like Levi’s Stadium for the immediate future.
Either way, the details and developments of this story aren’t going to be going away anytime soon.