NFL, 49ers prepared backup plans months ago

Getty Images

With the 49ers apparently unable to play in Santa Clara due to new restrictions on outdoor activities, it may seem on the surface that the team and the league have been caught flat-footed. That’s not the case.

Per a league source, the NFL and the 49ers prepared months ago, before the season began, multiple possible contingency plans in the event the team needed to move its operations and have a different NFL stadium for its home games.

Given the real-time communication system between the stadium and the league office, the 49ers need to play in a place that has the appropriate technology in place to allow for replay review and related activities. Unless the plans include putting the technological pipeline back into, for example, the Oakland Coliseum, the 49ers will need to find another NFL-ready venue.

As noted when the schedule came out in May, the 49ers could easily play in Arizona, with no conflicts between the schedule of the two teams. L.A. becomes a much more significant problem, given that two teams play there.

Regardless, the NFL and the 49ers are ready for the possibility that the 49ers can’t play their home games at home. They’ve been ready for this possibility.