Santa Clara Declines to Reopen Levi's Stadium for 49ers' Home Games

The county of Santa Clara has shut down any plans to reopen Levi's Stadium.

According to the state of California's tiered reopening plan, Santa Clara is within the "moderate" range of COVID-19 spread. The California Health and Human Services agency offered guidelines for fans who wished to attend San Francisco's 49ers' home game at the stadium, but Santa Clara County Executive Dr. Jeff Smith disagreed with the possibility.

"It makes no sense whatsoever to have audiences at stadiums," Smith said, "particularly when there is a model to do it without audiences in a much safer way so that the only individuals who'd be put at risk are players, the refs, and their families [who are] getting constant tests."

"Putting an audience in a stadium in large groups is just asking for trouble. It's like a Petri dish," he continued.

If the stadium was to have reopened, the 49ers would only allow 20 percent capacity, which is about 13,000 fans. If the county reached the "minimal" designation of COVID-19 cases, then the stadium would be able to increase capacity to 25 percent.

However, the 120-mile rule means Californians in other parts of the state that are experiencing spikes in positive could spread the virus through communal areas like bathrooms and concession stands.

"Audiences at professional sporting events will not be allowed anytime soon in Santa Clara County, and theme parks will not resume operation," the Public Health Department of Santa Clara released in a statement.

"We must all continue to prioritize reducing the spread of COVID-19, creating conditions that will allow our businesses, schools, and other organizations to operate safely," the statement continued.

"As we see COVID-19 rates rising in states across the U.S., and as we enter the winter months when risks will increase, we cannot take chances with the health and wellbeing of our community and forfeit the many sacrifices that have been made to slow the spread of COVID-19."

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