Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Report: 49ers had a contingency plan for months to play home games in another NFL stadium

Nov 28, 2020 at 6:50 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers will probably have to play their next two home games somewhere other than Levi's Stadium due to new Santa Clara County restrictions prohibiting professional sports from occurring locally due to increasing COVID-19 numbers.

The 49ers are prepared to play elsewhere, apparently. According to Mark Maske of The Washington Post, San Francisco has had a contingency plan in place for months. The team will play its home games at another NFL stadium, according to the report. Which stadium that is hasn't been revealed.

"The NFL and the 49ers have a contingency plan in place for where the team will practice and play games if it must move, according to a person familiar with the situation," wrote Maske. "Details were not immediately available, but games likely will be played at another NFL stadium. The league and team worked on contingency plans for months because of concerns about potential restrictions by the county. The 49ers first will attempt to work with the county before implementing the contingency plan, according to the person with knowledge of the deliberations."

The new restrictions in Santa Clara County go into effect on Monday, after the 49ers return from their road trip south to play the Los Angeles Rams. That's when a ban on collegiate and professional sports will begin. It also means the 49ers will not be able to practice at their facility, which neighbors Levi's Stadium.

"Santa Clara County's new restrictions will include a 14-day quarantine for all those traveling to and from the county from more than 150 miles away," reported Fiona Kelliher of The Mercury News, "according to documents obtained by this news organization, as well as a temporary ban on sporting activities — including professional sports like the San Jose Sharks ice hockey team."

The 49ers issued the following statement after news of the restrictions was announced.

"We are aware of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department's emergency directive. We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as they are confirmed."

The two 49ers home games impacted by the county's updated restrictions are a December 7 matchup against the Buffalo Bills and a December 13 game against the Washington Football Team.

General manager John Lynch said in May that the 49ers were looking into contingency plans had the team been unable to host training camp in Santa Clara.

"You always have to be prepared for everything," Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area. "And I think this pandemic that we're going through, there's so much unknown. It kind of changes day to day. So, yes, you have to prepare for everything."

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