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Local official doesn’t expect sporting events to be back before Thanksgiving

If true, the San Jose Earthquakes’ season would seemingly be scrapped.

Honduras v United States - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

Obviously the coronavirus pandemic has led to all of us changing our lives in ways big and small, and that includes losing the ability to follow live sports, with leagues like MLS shuttered for the time being.

While Major League Baseball this week mulled a proposal to do a “quarantine village” system in Arizona and attempt to play games there for all teams with everyone involved sequestered from the rest of the world, the unrealistic nature of that plan meant it never really got going and has seemingly been nixed in the meantime.

So when will sports be back? Good question.

According to Santa Clara County Executive Officer Jeff Smith this week during a Board of Supervisors meeting, the bar is probably set at late November.

“Sorry to say,” Smith is quoted in the San Jose Mercury News, “I don’t expect that we’ll have any sports games until at least Thanksgiving, and we’ll be lucky to have them by Thanksgiving.”

Smith’s reasoning is sound: If the stay-at-home order is lifted too soon, there could be a resurgence of coronavirus infections. While projections seem to indicate that will likely happen no matter when the orders are lifted, the idea is a risk/reward assessment — if the spread increases, will it increase at a manageable rate, or will it risk spiraling out of control and putting the medical system under enormous burden at once?

And if you’re wondering what Smith’s authority is on the matter, well, he’s the person who can order sporting events closed or canceled in Santa Clara County, meaning he has a big role to play in determining if and when the San Jose Earthquakes can get back in action, for example.

While the rationale makes plenty of sense, from a sports fan’s perspective, having to wait until Thanksgiving or beyond would mean the MLS season would be scrapped outright, and we would go basically a year between new, live Quakes games. That’s a really long time!

Again, in the long run, public health is the important thing. Let’s just hope the projection that Thanksgiving is the possible timeline for sports to return is a pessimistic one, both for sports and for public health.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.