Rams, Chargers fans still shut out as state unveils new coronavirus guidelines – Press Enterprise

Rams, Chargers fans still shut out as state unveils new coronavirus guidelines – Press Enterprise

The state of California issued new coronavirus guidelines Tuesday for a return of fans to professional sports held in outdoor stadiums. But don’t expect to watch your favorite teams playing in person at SoFi Stadium, Banc of California Stadium or Dignity Health Sports Park any time soon.

Effective immediately, fans will be allowed in limited numbers to attend games in outdoor stadiums for the first time since the pandemic shut down pro sports around North America in March. But there is a catch –and a big one, as far as Los Angeles County is concerned.

L.A. County must drop two tiers into the orange or moderate category on the state’s coronavirus watch list in order to allow 20% of capacity or fall further into the yellow or minimal tier to welcome 25% of capacity. The county is currently in the state’s purple or widespread category.

Each of the state’s 58 counties has been assigned a color-coded category on the watch list. Purple and red are the highest, based on the coronavirus case rate and the positivity rate of tests in a particular county. Orange and yellow are the lowest categories.

Compounding matters for the Rams and Chargers at SoFi Stadium is the question of whether the new $5-billion stadium in Inglewood is actually an outdoor venue. The official SoFi Stadium website refers to it as an indoor-outdoor stadium, which might need clarifying by health officials.

Certainly, it’s not a traditional indoor stadium since panels in its roof can be opened to let in air.

Or kept closed in case of rain.

The Los Angeles Football Club plays outdoors at Banc of California Stadium near downtown L.A. The Los Angeles Galaxy, LAFC’s Southern California top rival in Major League Soccer, plays outdoors at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.

The state did not update its guidelines for college sports at outdoor stadiums, meaning fans are not expected to be able to attend UCLA’s home games at the Rose Bowl or USC’s games at the Coliseum when a limited Pac-12 football season begins play Nov. 7.

Additionally, it’s also possible that L.A. County health officials could continue to ban fans at pro games even if the county does drop into the orange or yellow categories, which is what happened Tuesday in Santa Clara County, home of the San Francisco 49ers.

Santa Clara County has dropped into the orange category recently, but county health officials said they would continue to ban all fans from 49ers home games at Levi’s Stadium in the city of Santa Clara. The 68,500-seat stadium could have hosted 14,000 fans, if permitted by the county.

Fans continue to be banned at the state’s indoor arenas, and the 2020-21 seasons for the NBA’s Clippers and Lakers and the NHL’s Ducks and Kings are on hold while each league determines the best course of action for a possible return to play in home arenas.

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