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San Jose Sharks to play two home games in Arizona due to Santa Clara County’s contact sports ban

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The San Jose Sharks will have two of their home games moved to Glendale, Ariz. in the beginning of February as a result of a contact sports ban in place in Santa Clara County, where the team’s normal home is located. The two games on Feb. 1 and 3 are against the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Sharks will play their games in Gila River Arena, the home of the Arizona Coyotes

“We feel that we have put significant precautions in place, including daily COVID-19 testing of the athletes and support staff, to allow for us to safely return to play games at SAP Center, while not exposing the community to any additional health risk,” said Sharks President Jonathan Becher in a press release. “In our discussions with County officials over the past several months, we have shared our detailed return-to-play plans and are hopeful that we can find practical solutions to this difficult situation very soon.”

San Jose is not the first sports franchise that this contact sports ban has affected. Back when it was first announced in November, it ended up temporarily displacing the San Francisco 49ers. That team also had to move to Arizona to play the remainder of their home games. 

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This order was announced as an enhancement of local COVID-19 guidelines in response to an uptick in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the area. That trend has yet to truly slow down, which is why the Sharks are now left without a home arena in California.

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