The San Francisco 49ers will relocate to Arizona for the next three weeks after new coronavirus regulations put in place by officials in Northern California forced the team to find a temporary new home.
The 49ers (5-6) announced they will host the Buffalo Bills next Monday night and Washington on Dec. 13 at State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, because they won't be able to practice or play games at home in Santa Clara County for three weeks.
A person familiar with the team's plans also said a decision has been made to start practicing later this week in Arizona and remain based there until at least Dec. 21. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there hadn't been an announcement.
The team was forced to move because the rules imposed by Santa Clara County prohibit any practice or games for contact sports and will require the players to quarantine for 14 days any time they travel more than 150 miles.
Niners CEO Jed York said the team had offers from San Diego and Arizona, but playing at the Cardinals' home proved to be the best option. He thanked Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell and officials in Arizona for their help in "these unprecedented times.”
“The Cardinals organization, State Farm Stadium and League officials have been supportive and accommodating as we work through the many logistical issues involved in relocating NFL games," the 49ers said in a statement.
Santa Clara County announced rules Saturday that include a three-week ban on practices and games for contact sports starting Monday. The Niners were on a plane getting ready to travel to Los Angeles, where they beat the Rams 23-20 on Sunday, when the players and coaches heard about the new rules.
Now they will likely head on an even longer road trip while trying to make a late-season playoff run. San Francisco is currently one game out of a playoff spot.