San Jose Sharks' first 2 home games to be played in Arizona due to Santa Clara Co. ban on contact sports

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks' first two home games of the season will be played in Arizona due to a coronavirus-related ban on contact sports in Santa Clara County, the team said Saturday.

The team's hockey games on Feb. 1 and 3 will be played at the Gila River Arena in Glendale with the Sharks serving as the home team.

Sharks President Jonathan Becher said Saturday the team hopes to return to SAP Center in San Jose soon.



"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," Becher said in a news release.

Game time for the Feb. 1 game will be moved to 6 p.m. and the Feb. 3 game will be played at 7:30 p.m.

It has not yet been determined whether fans will be attending the games, the team said.

The Sharks' next home games are set for Feb. 13 and 15, but a location for those games hasn't been announced.

Santa Clara County health officials announced a three-week ban on contact sports in late November due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases. They extended the ban in December and again this month due to a post-holidays surge that brought a spike in cases and overwhelmed hospital ICU bed capacity.
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