Fans wanting to attend a 49ers game or any other sporting event in Santa Clara County "could be wanting until late November, if not later," according to Jason Green of the San Jose MERCURY NEWS. That was the message Santa Clara County Executive Officer Dr. Jeff Smith "delivered to the Board of Supervisors during a discussion Tuesday." Smith said, "I don't expect that we'll have any sports games until at least Thanksgiving, and we'll be lucky to have them by Thanksgiving." He added, "This is not going to be something that is easy to do." Green notes Santa Clara County, along with the rest of California, "appears to be slowing the spread of COVID-19, but life likely won't return to normal without a substantial increase in testing." In addition to the 49ers and the Sharks, the county is home to the Earthquakes, the Single-A California League San Jose Giants and three major universities -- Stanford, Santa Clara Univ. and San Jose State (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 4/9).
WORDS CARRY MEANING: In S.F., Ann Killion writes Smith's words are "significant" because they come from the county that has "earned national, well-deserved praise for its aggressive, proactive steps to contain the coronavirus outbreak." Because there is no national policy, decision-making has been "left up to municipalities, which is how Santa Clara County became a leader in this fight." But a league like the NFL "must have a unified policy" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/9). YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote Smith's words and power represent a "significant challenge for professional sports to return -- the NFL in particular." While the NBA, NHL and MLB are "at least considering trying to move their entire league to a single site, city or region," the NFL has had "no such concept leak, probably because it would appear unworkable." The NFL "may be able to stage a season, just not that way." It is "one less option it has to consider," as football "doesn't seem to work for the single-site dream" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/8).
NOT LOOKING GOOD: In L.A., Bill Plaschke writes the sports world "needs to go back to work, and with every day, it's understandable desperation is showing." Yet with every day, its "solutions for a return sound sillier, and its false hope does more damage." There is a "realistic chance the sports world will be benched" until '21. With a vaccine at least "several months away, the clock has seemingly run out on the current and upcoming seasons of this country's major sports." Plaschke: "It's never over until it's over, but this feels pretty much over" (L.A. TIMES, 4/9).