HOME ON THE ROAD
Niner Report|January 2021
Latest bizarre twist relocates 49ers to Arizona
Craig Massei

A funny thing happened to the 49ers in late November while they were on their one-hour flight to Los Angeles to play a must-win game against the Rams.

Santa Clara County officials pulled their home and home stadium out from underneath them while they were in the air.

You just can’t make up this stuff. And in this ludicrous San Francisco season during which nothing seems to go right and a strange set of circumstances seems to be lurking around every corner, the 49ers being forced to find a new place to practice and play their home games on the fly at the beginning of the crucial December stretch run seems to fit right in with all the other craziness that has zapped the team in 2020.

“It was just extremely disappointing,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said.

For many in 49erland, so was the aftermath of the decision that had the 49ers relocating to Arizona during an unusual three-week road trip that had them living, practicing and playing their Week 13-14 scheduled home games at facilities normally used by their NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals.

It’s possible San Francisco could finish the season engaged in the very same scenario.

The 49ers were on their team airplane headed south when news came to San Francisco’s traveling party that Santa Clara County had imposed a ban on contact sports designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 in a Northern California region that’s been hit particularly hard by the novel coronavirus ever since the worldwide pandemic began in March.

COVID-19 has been an issue for the 49ers ever since, as they were locked out of their Santa Clara team headquarters at times throughout the spring and conducted practically their entire offseason workout program virtually. The 49ers haven’t been allowed to have any fans attend their games at Levi’s Stadium this year, and they’ve been in contact with county officials regularly over the past nine months to discuss contingency plans for pandemic-related circumstances that might arise at any time.

Like, for instance, Santa Clara County’s latest restrictions that went into effect Dec. 1, and will last until at least Dec. 21. Those guidelines also mandate a 14-day quarantine period for anyone traveling into the area from 150 miles away, which means the 49ers can’t go back and forth between their temporary new home and their old home after being kicked out of their team complex.

The 49ers, coming off their late-November bye week, received no advance notice of the county’s decision before it was publicly announced on Nov. 28, and also received no explanation from county officials why a “soft bubble” approach for the team that recently was discussed with the county would no longer work.

“You always expect bumps in the road no matter what you’re doing,” Shanahan said. “The biggest bump was just finding out how long it was a day before we played. That was the biggest thing.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM NINER REPORTView All

EIGHT IS ENOUGH

Set 49ers lineup still has several new starters

7 mins read
Niner Report
October 2021

Calling all cornerbacks

Loss of Verrett exposes 49ers’ thin depth at CB

7 mins read
Niner Report
October 2021

Always finding their way to run

49ers system accomplished at developing homegrown talent

9 mins read
Niner Report
October 2021

ANOTHER COMEBACK?

Resilient veteran Verrett to miss rest of season

5 mins read
Niner Report
October 2021

TOP 10 Rookie running backs

THE BACK LIST

3 mins read
Niner Report
October 2021

STOCK UP STOCK DOWN

DEOMMODORE LENOIR | AMBRY THOMAS

4 mins read
Niner Report
October 2021

Will Mostert run for 49ers again?

Raheem Mostert was primed this year to be the centerpiece of one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses, featured as the lead performer in San Francisco’s grinding rushing attack while making his climb among the league’s top running backs.

5 mins read
Niner Report
October 2021

THE WONDER OF WARNER

49ers make All-Pro star highest-paid LB in NFL

9 mins read
Niner Report
August 31, 2021

Making the right choice at QB

In the weeks that follow after you read this — and perhaps sometime even sooner than that — Kyle Shanahan and the rest of the 49ers organization will make a titanic decision that will have present, future and perhaps even everlasting implications for the franchise. It will chart the course for the team’s pivotal 2021 season while determining whether San Francisco really does have the juice to return to powerhouse status and again be considered a legitimate contender to get back to the Super Bowl.

3 mins read
Niner Report
August 31, 2021

TOP 10 Linebacker seasons

Fred Warner vaulted to stardom with a spectacular 2020 season — and the 49ers rewarded him this summer with a $95.225 million deal that makes him the highest-paid inside linebacker in NFL history. By today’s standards, Warner’s performance last year was worth the money as he posted an Approximate Value of 19 — matching the highest score ever recorded by a San Francisco defender according to a Pro Football Reference formula that puts a single number on each player-season across all positions since 1960. Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman (twice) also had seasons with an AV of 19 as they dominate this list of the greatest individual seasons by a linebacker in 49ers history.

3 mins read
Niner Report
August 31, 2021
RELATED STORIES

ENLIGHTENED LANDSCAPING

CHOOSE THE RIGHT THINGS TO PLANT TO BENEFIT WILDLIFE AND YOURSELF

8 mins read
American Outdoor Guide
February 2022

Heart and Soul

Seek renewal and inner peace at Sedona’s L’Apothecary Spa.

4 mins read
Global Traveler
November 2021

Came Through Drippin

Most of the world relies on flood irrigation to water crops. A more efficient alternative hasn’t been widely adopted because it’s so expensive. One Israeli soil physicist has the answer: a tiny plastic widget

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 27, 2021

The Site Pushing the Big Lie About Arizona's Election Audit

The Gateway Pundit, which has a history of advancing promoting the audit in Maricopa County

3 mins read
Newsweek
August 13, 2021

FAMILIES URGE USING NEW DNA TECH TO ID PEARL HARBOR UNKNOWNS

William Edward Mann enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school in rural Washington state. A guitar player, he picked up the ukulele while stationed in Hawaii.

5 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #510

Kyrsten Sinema – Shape Shifter

From Green Party rabble-rouser to Senate power broker, Kyrsten Sinema’s rise is a political fairy tale—and nightmare.

10+ mins read
Mother Jones
July/August 2021

GEOLOGY IN THE NATIONAL PARKS

The Science Behind the Scenery

10+ mins read
Rock&Gem Magazine
June 2021

A New View of Mineral Museums

This year of 2021 certainly started out to be disappointing for many mineral collectors. We were all looking forward to a host of mineral-related activities. Instead, few mineral shows and mineral activities on the calendar remain, so the first months of this year were devoid of organized mineral activity.

6 mins read
Rock&Gem Magazine
June 2021

America's Friendlist Summits

Some high points require expert skill, a bit of luck, and probably some suffering. Not these. Here are 15 peaks—high on views, low on effort—that don’t play hard to get.

10+ mins read
Backpacker
May - June 2021

“I'm Your Huckleberry” Has a Double Meaning for Old Tucson

Saving the old girl is more than a dream.

6 mins read
True West
April 2021