San Francisco Mayor London Breed gave sports fans in the Bay Area some hope. Sports will return soon, but it certainly won’t be the same.
Christmas arrived early for fans in San Francisco. Mayor London Breed announced sports will be able to return to the city on June 15th, 2020. It’s part of the cities “phase 2B” as they start to reopen their economy from COVID-19.
A lot of teams are within the Bay Area, so important to note this news is specific to San Francisco. This means there are only two teams who can celebrate — the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors. Both team’s facilities are within blocks of each other.
Of course, there’s a catch. No fans in attendance. Despite the condition, many fanatics just want to watch live sports in whatever capacity.
We’ve already seen some examples of sports with no fans. Most notably is NASCAR. Without fans, they’ve been able to run a couple of races within a week. Normally their schedule is similar to the NFL. One race a week, but with the option to race on a Monday depending on the schedule.
However, will there even be any sports IN San Francisco this year? The NBA is proposing to resume their season at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. No decision has been made yet, but they could do what the NHL has done. End the season and go straight to the playoffs.
If they do, the Warriors won’t be playing again until next season — whenever it may be. According to NBC Bay Area’s Monte Poole, the Warriors would welcome the chance to finish out the season, knowing they won’t make the postseason.
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For the Giants to play at beautiful Oracle Park again, the MLB needs to figure out a lot of issues — and I mean a lot of issues.
First and foremost is when and where can teams train, play, stay, and eat? There’ve been reports of all teams playing in Arizona. There have also been talks of using the same divisions as spring training to play in Arizona and Florida.
(Oh and there’s something called the CBA… If the league and the players don’t agree on a new deal, there’s a chance next season gets delayed or worse.)
But since some cities and states are relaxing strict laws due to the virus, it will deter how the MLB goes about its business. There’s also the issue of having one team, not on American soil.
With the borders closed between Canada and the USA until the end of June — and a possible extension — the Toronto Blue Jays might throw a curveball in the schedule.
The Giants and Blue Jays are not scheduled to play each other this year, whether it be in the regular season with a normal schedule or the spring training format. However, if they can’t cross the border in time, it could change the Giants schedule and where they play ball.
Looking ahead to San Francisco in fall 2020
Fall is typically when new seasons begin, at least with for the NBA, NFL, and NHL. Mayor Breed gave the tentative timeline of August for when you can expect to be watching in arenas and stadiums again.
This gives the Warriors a chance to deep clean Chase Center. If social distancing is still enforced, they’ll have time to spread out concessions, make arrow paths throughout the concourse, and adjust the seating if necessary.
The Giants could be in an unusual situation. They could play the first month without fans, then invite a certain amount into Oracle Park for the rest of the season.
Oracle Park is a fairly big stadium. Depending on who the visitor is during a series, they could block off enough sections and rows, to social distance, while still maintaining the fun game-day atmosphere.
With lots of uncertainty in the past few months, it’s exciting to finally have some dates. This could all change within a matter of days. However, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for live sports in San Francisco this year.