Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Kyle Shanahan, Fred Warner hope 49ers, Santa Clara County can find a way to safely get fans in Levi’s Stadium

Oct 21, 2020 at 2:50 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers have yet to host any fans at Levi's Stadium this season, even as teams in other states have started opening their gates to a limited number of game attendees. It looked like that might change soon when, on Tuesday, California issued new COVID-19 health and safety guidelines that would have allowed up to 13,000 fans at Levi's Stadium for future home games.

Santa Clara County quickly declared that won't be happening.

"Audiences at professional sporting events will not be allowed anytime soon in Santa Clara County, and theme parks will not resume operation," the Santa Clara County Public Health Department told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters on Wednesday and was asked about the disappointment of not being allowed to have fans in attendance and if other teams have a competitive advantage by allowing some in their home venues.

"Oh, yeah. I don't think; I mean, that's a fact," Shanahan responded. "I know that. Not having the fans in your stadium is a huge deal. It's something that most of the league's had to deal with this year. It seems like most teams aren't going to have to deal with it as much going forward, but no, our fans are a huge part of -- they're a huge part of every team -- but I feel it a little bit different here than everywhere else I've been.

"Just the feeling they brought our team last year and, hopefully, that we did the same, I think really changed this building. Thought we earned a lot of that, and it's been tough not to have them this year and just disappointing. I'm real disappointed for them, our families.

"I understand the issues and stuff. I just hope that we can eventually figure out something. I know my family is allowed to go to restaurants right now and sit inside and socially distance there while watching the game. So, hopefully, eventually, we can figure out a way to do that in our outdoor stadium where we can at least get some people like they are in the restaurants and stuff, or worst case, at least our families because it's a long season and people do want to be a part of that bad.

"I know how bad we want them to be a part of it. So, hopefully, they'll keep talking and figure out a way that they feel safe like the other places, and I know it'll help us if we do."

Star linebacker Fred Warner doesn't claim to be an expert when it comes to COVID-19 regulations, and said as much on Wednesday. He, like his coach, is eager to get The Faithful back in Levi's Stadium, though.

"Obviously, everybody wants fans," Warner said. "I'm going to let the county and the state handle all of that. We miss the fans very, very much. I know I do. I always feed off of them. But I know they'll do the right thing, making sure they come back when it's safe to do so."

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