SAN JOSE, Calif. – In the past few weeks, the world has been made well aware of the Coronavirus epidemic that has spread to the United States from hotspots like China, Italy, and South Korea. Closures and cancellations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have swept across America, and California’s Santa Clara County is no exception.
With the county’s emergency health declaration in effect until April 9 and multiple resulting closures stemming from the their public health recommendation, it was only a matter of time until sporting venues in the Bay Area were affected as well.
The San Jose Sharks released the following statement via social media on Tuesday, which was recirculated by their AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda.
— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) March 10, 2020
Both the Sharks and Barracuda share the SAP Center as home ice for their respective games. As the statement indicates, the arena’s next scheduled event is on Tuesday, March 17 — a Barracuda game versus the Colorado Eagles.
This leaves the AHL and San Jose with three options moving forward: reschedule the games, cancel them altogether, or play in front of an empty arena. In January 2018, the latter option was utilized when the Charlotte Checkers hosted the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Decided upon due to extreme weather in North Carolina and the safety of fans risking treacherous travel, the sight of a regular season game played before absolutely no ticket holders was an eerie sight to behold.
In any case, containing the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the public’s overall health is priority one for not just the Santa Clara County and State of California, but the nation and citizens worldwide. Whatever the option is moving forward, avoiding the spread of the aforementioned virus will no doubt be the priority of the AHL, San Jose Barracuda, and any visiting teams.
Other Barracuda home games include March 22 against Bakersfield, April 1 versus Ontario, and April 4 hosting Stockton before the April 9 moratorium expires.
UPDATE – MARCH 11, 7:40PM MDT
— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) March 11, 2020