California is set to welcome fans back to sporting events at outdoor stadiums in counties with low COVID-19 infection rates, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. However, only three counties, Alameda, San Francisco, and Santa Clara, currently meet the requirements for allowing fans.
Following the announcement, the San Francisco 49ers, who play in San Francisco County, released a statement explaining that they will work with local public health officials to develop a plan that keeps the team, Levi's Stadium employees and fans safe.
"We appreciate Governor Newsom's leadership and thoughtful approach in creating a framework that allows for a return of fans to Levi's Stadium, and restart the economic activity of the region," the 49ers said in a statement.
Under this new ruling, professional sports teams are allowed to have a limited number of fans attend games if they're in a county that's in the lowest two levels of the state's four-tiered model for reopening. However, only fans that live within a 120-mile radius of the stadium can purchase tickets to sporting events.
In addition to the 49ers, the following California teams would be allowed to host fans under this new ruling:
- Golden State Warriors (San Francisco)
- San Francisco Giants (San Francisco)
- San Jose Sharks (Santa Clara)
- San Jose Earthquakes (Santa Clara)
- Oakland Athletics (Alameda)
No county in Southern California has met the qualifications at the current time. San Francisco is the first highly populated county to meet the qualifications for the state's tiered model.
As the AP noted, despite the new rules for sporting events, the state of California is still not letting Disneyland and other major theme parks, which attract big crowds, to reopen just yet.