NFL doesn’t rule out moving California teams out of state for 2020

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Amid increasing speculation that NFL games won’t be able to proceed with fans or at all in California in 2020, the NFL hasn’t ruled out the possibility of moving the 49ers, Rams, and/or Chargers to other states for the coming season.

“We are preparing to play the 2020 NFL season as scheduled and with increased protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel and attendees,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Gilbert Manzano of the Southern California News Group in response to a request for comment on the possibility of staging games involving the L.A. teams in other locations. “This includes games at SoFi Stadium. We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this offseason, demonstrating that we can safely and efficiently conduct key activities, such as free agency, the virtual offseason program, and the 2020 NFL Draft.”

The league has firmly committed to a noncommittal approach, neither confirming nor ruling out anything while generally reiterating that the plan is to proceed, but to adjust if needed. As previously noted, it wouldn’t be difficult to move the three California teams to other stadiums. It’s also possible that both L.A. teams will share the new venue in Las Vegas, with the Raiders.

“We will continue to make decisions based on the latest advice of medical and public health officials, as well as in full compliance with current and future government regulations,” McCarthy said. “Our primary focus will be on protecting the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel and our communities.”

The pending stay-at-home order in Los Angeles County is expected to remain in place through July. While that doesn’t affect the Rams and Chargers, who aren’t headquartered in L.A. County, their new stadium is. If/when the county’s stay-at-home order extends beyond August 1, this will affect the preseason and/or the start of the regular season.

Which means that the NFL will need to be ready to move the California teams to other states. Which will require negotiation between the league and the NFL Players Association, given that players will be yanked for the season out of their homes and dropped into some other location.

40 responses to “NFL doesn’t rule out moving California teams out of state for 2020

  1. Once again everyone’s copying the 2021 super bowl champs.

    Just don’t think we’re sharing the Mecca of football here in the desert.

    Just Win Baby.

  2. Three teams in Vegas? Or four? Maybe they could start their own division?

  3. Sounds like the NFL teams from CA will follow Elon Musk to Nevada. And other businesses will do the same.

  4. What about the teams in NY, NJ, MA, and MI, if they decide to have the same rules as CA?

  5. Like I don’t see the lawyers lining up to see how this shakes out. Good luck with this stunt. It will never happen. The teams will have to miss games (forfeit) before these stadiums and the state just let them walk. You wouldn’t even get the lawsuits over with before 1/2 the season is over. This is the world we live in now.

  6. I don’t think it’s going to be 3 in Vegas, as it would be very hard to control all the players and staff once the casino’s open, but probably adding Seattle and all 4 go to Arizona, using the 2 NFL ready stadiums and sharing other facilities.

  7. Unless CA thinks it can win a lawsuit when they try and tax Jared Goff and Co. who worked in another state for all of 2020, I bet they pull back on this idea real quick. What’s half of the 160+ players’ salary? That’s about what they’d forfeit by shoving them into Nevada or Arizona.

  8. Do it NFL!

    Visiting Athletes won’t have to play a jock tax. -win!

    The “Boise Chargers” for a season? Kinda hipster, right? Plus, there is only upside too: people in Boise would be intrigued & nobody in LA cares anyway. I’m not sure the Raiders have a basement for the Chargers anyway.

    The irony would just be fun, since for years, LA was used as a threat to the teams. Payback time baby!

  9. Good for the NFL!
    As a longtime California resident, I am sick and tired of the politicians in California ruining this beautiful state. California (as it is run & operated) is being micromanaged to extinction by these greedy politicians. My hope is that professional teams DO leave California… just long enough to send a powerful message to California – that we are not the one and almighty state that we think we are. California’s political officials need to realize that there is an entire nation to work with, rather than always chasing the local dollar bills to try to improve their fortune.
    GO STEELERS!!!!!

  10. There is no way LA County is getting to 0 covid deaths for 14 straight days by September. It’s possible the bay area or San Diego could get there.

  11. There will not be a complete season this year, and that’s okay. Stay safe!

  12. Good for the league for allowing itself plenty of options to play as conditions change (or don’t change). The reality is that the entire country just can’t go back to normal all at once. The public health situation is different in different parts of the country, even in different parts of a state.

    I live in northern Virginia. The rest of the state is starting to open up next week, but in northern VA, infection rates haven’t begun to decline so we’ll be lagging a couple of weeks behind. I can see situations like this country-wide.

    It might be fine to play in places like Denver or Vegas, but possibly not in places like LA or NY. Just depends on the situation. Building flexibility into the schedule can allow for things like that.

    I think there will be some sort of a season. It may be shorter, it may be without fans, and games might not be played in the places they normally are, but I think there will be something.

  13. Cali is in its own world. The rest of us should have begun writing them off a long time ago.

  14. Only move the rams & chargers.
    No one in LA would care if they’re aren’t playing anyway.

  15. Open the stadiums and play the games.
    Not comnfortable going? Stay home.
    The curve was flattened in April.
    Now we are somehow trying to make the disease disappear and that aint happening.

  16. I say if the state doesnt let them host games (even without fans), make them forfeit the 8 games…

  17. Season ticket holders didnt agree to purchase tickets at out of state locations.

    Full refund us for any game not played at our home stadium.

    Let Goodell try to sell the tickets at these non-local venues.

    Don’t force us to pay for something we didnt ask for or want.

    We’re not paying for likely empty seats 500-1000 miles away.

  18. drwatson says:
    May 13, 2020 at 8:46 am
    Open the stadiums and play the games.
    Not comnfortable going? Stay home.
    The curve was flattened in April.

    What “curve” are you looking at?

  19. I want the stadiums filled to 100% capacity.
    After all of the attendees get Covid19 they will hopefully be immune and provide some herd immunity to the rest of us.

  20. Wouldn’t be surprised if Pats move too. If games are played in empty stadiums they could drive down the road 30 minutes to Providence and play at Brown University. That would be the closest stadium in the area that might be able to support a network TV crew, nothing like what we would be used to viewing, but could possibly pull it off

  21. if you ask the NFL any question they would say they haven’t ruled it out that’s the standard answer even though they have no plan on doing so, besides they would need the Raiders permission to do so and they wouldn’t get it.

  22. Teams should not play in the home of their division rivals. Chargers should go to Arizona, Rams to LV, Niners to Denver.

  23. The way the Raiders have been treated by California over the years, they should tell any California teams to pound sand. It would be hilarious if the 49ers had to ask the Raiders for anything…… They would get, “We are sorry, the number you have dial cannot be connected at this time, please try your call again later….”

    California teams should forfeit any games that they cannot play at home or be forced to play those games at the home stadium of their opponent, if they are both California teams, double forfeit.

  24. Send someone to Fargo, ND, to play in the Fargo Dome.
    1. Domed stadium.
    2. There won’t be fans allowed in the building, so who cares what the attendance is?
    3. Seriously, the Vikings are gonna complain?
    Send someone to San Antonio, to play in the Alamodome.
    1 and 2. Same as above.
    3. Seriously, the Cowboys or Texans are gonna complain? (Jerry Jones certainly will — he thinks SA is a suburb of Dallas, even though it’s 275 miles away.)
    Have the three teams play in the middle of Nevada.
    1. Pick three stretches of US 50 (The Loneliest Highway in America).
    2. Pretend like it’s neighborhood street football all over again. If a car comes, move to the side of the road for a moment, then resume play. Count how many people are in the vehicle and claim it as ”attendance.”
    3. Bring one goalpost, put it on the side of the highway (like your portable basketball rim in a neighborhood).

  25. I have a feeling if the California players are moved to income tax-free Nevada, the NFLPA won’t have much trouble approving it

  26. I love all the armchair warriors here who likely never served their country have no problems putting other people’s lives on the line for their entertainment. It’s not just the players, but all the support staff from the ticket scanners and the food vendors to the camera crews and other logistics staff. I’m sure I’ll get more down than up votes. Don’t care. Even the downvoters know in their hearts I’m right.

  27. You shall not defy the shutdown! At least not until after November – Thank you very much.

  28. This problem is a lot bigger than just California. There’s not going to be any football until 2021.

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