Alternate venues for California teams wouldn’t be hard to find

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With California governor Gavin Newsom throwing water on the idea of throwing football fans into a stadium before herd immunity is achieved and/or a coronavirus vaccine is developed, the NFL may need to be ready to stage Rams, Chargers, and 49ers home games in front of no fans. Or, alternatively, to play those “home” games in stadiums where fans will be able to show up and buy tickets, parking spots, food, beer, merchandise, programs, etc., etc.

And it wouldn’t be hard to make that happen. Simple cross-referencing has identified practical temporary homes for the three California teams.

First, the 49ers could play in Arizona. Both teams have home games in Week Nine, but the 49ers play on Thursday night while the Cardinals play on Sunday. In Week 13, the Cardinals play on Sunday, but the 49ers play on Monday night. The two teams never have home games on the same day.

Second, the Chargers could play in Las Vegas — if the Raiders are willing to let the Chargers christen the stadium on the second Sunday of the season, one day before the Raiders host a Monday Night Football game there. The only glitch arises in Week 14, with both teams due to play home games the same day. But one of the games could be moved to Saturday (college football season will be over) or to Monday, creating the kind of Monday night two-pack that used to happen from time to time when teams that shared space with the local baseball club was bounced by a World Series home game.

Third, the Rams could play in Dallas. Other than Week Four, when both are due to play at home, the schedule has no conflicts. Again, one of the games could be moved to Monday night.

The league has said nothing to suggest that California teams would share stadiums elsewhere in 2020. If, however, games can’t be played at all in California or if the NFL would prefer games with customers away from L.A. or San Francisco to home games in empty venues, it won’t be hard to do. Apart from dealing with a Week Four conflict in Dallas and a Week 14 issue in Las Vegas, it will be easy to find other places for California teams to play home games away from home.

28 responses to “Alternate venues for California teams wouldn’t be hard to find

  1. That doesn’t count NFL-acceptable stadiums in San Antonio and Orlando.

  2. I love the creativity and thought that went into this, but if this is what it comes down to I just don’t think it’s possible to pull off a season. Not trying to be a downer, but I think we are underestimating the logistics of something like that. Not to mention the complexity of tickets, season ticket holders, etc. If that’s going to be California’s stance, it’s hard to imagine 30 other states allowing games to be played. The problem snowballs even further with every other state that says no.

  3. Interesting idea. But it only works if the only state not allowing fans at games (or even games) is California. Washington, New York, and Ohio have also been among the stay-at-home leaders.

  4. What would happen for the Cardinals @ 49ers game. Wouldn’t this be a 9 th home game for the cards

  5. Well thought out…. But i maintain that come September this country will be open for business, at least to some extent.

  6. If they are going to move games, why not move them to college stadiums where the fans don’t normally get a home NFL game like Oregon, Utah, or Boise?

  7. Send those dollars to Arizona, Utah or Texas.

    California workers, enjoy the view.

  8. So… no venues like the Alamodome in San Antonio, Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Dome in St Louis, or Citrus Bowl in Orlando?

    The NFL isn’t going overseas this year, it might be a good thing to give cities without a team the opportunity to host some games.

  9. Wonder how much taxes players would save if NONE of their earnings are made in CA for 2020?

  10. In GA the first state to rush and reopen there is already a spike in infections. Its a fantasy to think there isn’t going to be a huge second wave with all the reopenings going on all over the country. The most likely result is another round of lockdowns in the late summer or early fall.

    In addition its not just CA that is unlikely to allow large gatherings of people this year without a vaccine or effective therapeutic treatment, Massachusetts also in unlikely to do so as are New York and New Jersey. So add the Pats, Giants, Jets and Bills to the teams that would have to play elsewhere.

    Which means almost 1/4 of the teams will have to play their “home games” in another state.

  11. If CA teams play in Texas, the visiting team members will save big on taxes. Same for Florida.

  12. The Chargers will NOT christen the new Raiders stadium! Can you imagine the curse! The Holy Roller lives on baby!

  13. MAKE MASKS MANDATORY. Make it so that you cannot enter an NFL stadium without a mask or facial covering and once in you cannot take it off other to wipe sweat from it. We cannot allow reckless and ignorant people enter stadiums and putting lives at risk. I was once told that I could bring my binoculars into the stadium but not the case. I said “you can’t be serious”. He was. It was a cloth carrying case so I shoved it down my pants and went to another entrance. Moving games to different venues must be considered as an option but wearing a mask shouldn’t be.

  14. This would be akin to a COVID protest in California and Washington. Pretty much a betrayal of public trust to leave your state in order to violate your home state’s order in another state. Not exactly to best example to set for teams to just leave states that are taking the spread of the virus actually seriously. Not to mention the stress that teams moving every week will place on testing. Its very doubtful that this season happens for smarter teams.

  15. Wonder how much taxes players would save if NONE of their earnings are made in CA for 2020?
    CA is not that stupid. They’ll find a way to tax them if it comes down to this.

  16. There are more venues in Arizona than just the Cardinals statdium.
    The Chargers should play in Mexico the first couple of weeks. The NFL should get that ready now.

  17. The problem with hosting these games too far away from California is the teams training facilities and travel times, which would both put them at a bigger disadvantage and become more logistically problematic.

  18. Everybody settle down, there isn’t going to be an NFL season this year.

  19. If Chargers played at Arizona it would be like both teams are playing on the road at the same time!

  20. If California … well, that’s a big if. There’s a lot of time between then and now. Time enough for someone to come up with some solutions. I’m going to wait a while before I start worrying.

  21. dejadoh says:
    May 8, 2020 at 11:58 am
    There are more venues in Arizona than just the Cardinals statdium.
    The Chargers should play in Mexico the first couple of weeks. The NFL should get that ready now.

    That would be assuming that colleges are ready to re-open.

  22. I’m sure they would live it too if the Raiders couldn’t come through with their stadium….

    That MNF game is SOLD OUT!!!!!!

  23. Since there will be no fans in stadiums this year, anywhere, this article is more about “what ifs.” So what if instead of speculating about California teams not playing home games in California, how about using the same scenario with New York teams, or any other team to which this might apply.

  24. Wherever they play the LA Chargers will have no fans. It doesn’t matter. If they can’t get any fans in the soccer stadium what makes anybody believe they’ll have fans anywhere else? It’s a massive blunder and mismanagement of an NFL franchise.

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