The coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, but California is one of the few states where the spread of the virus isn’t increasing at an officially alarming rate. One could argue the policy to maintain that is to keep doing what we’ve been doing, but human nature is to want to go out and live a little more, and the state announced Tuesday a roadmap to allow counties where certain benchmarks are hit to allow 20 percent capacity at big events and activities like some sporting events.
While some thought Santa Clara County would be among those to open doors to outdoor events, not so fast: The local government announced in short order they had no plans to allow fans into San Jose Earthquakes or San Francisco 49ers games anytime soon.
Statement from Santa Clara County Public Health Department to The Chronicle’s @Rusty_SFChron: “Audiences at professional sporting events will not be allowed anytime soon in Santa Clara County, and theme parks will not resume operation." (1/1) #49ers— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) October 20, 2020
To be fair, this is consistent with what County government has said all year, that they did not expect to open anything with any haste. At one point, we weren’t certain they would allow the Earthquakes to play behind closed doors, since they hadn’t been allowed to train as a team locally prior to the MLS is Back Tournament. But they were and they have been playing at Earthquakes Stadium.
The bright side is that the Earthquakes have allowed fans to “attend” games outside the stadium in a drive-thru set-up, and the honking of cars when they want to celebrate or get on the referee’s case is a sound that is becoming a trademark at Quakes games. I have to say I love that element, although I know some regard it as a new vuvuzela in terms of sound pollution.
So there you have it. The Quakes only have two more home games scheduled this year, Oct. 28 against Real Salt Lake and Nov. 1 against LAFC, although they could have more if they reach the playoffs and get a high enough seed to host. But it does seem like the door is definitively closed for fans in attendance inside the stadium in 2020, and maybe that is the safest option for everyone.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.