San Jose Sharks adhering to public gathering ban, may play in empty arena

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Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche and Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks chasing after the puck collides with each other during the first period in Game One of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April 26, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images )

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KDVR) — The National Hockey League and San Jose Sharks announced they will adhere to the mass gathering ban imposed by Santa Clara County due to the coronavirus outbreak. The restriction is set until the end of March, affecting three of the Sharks’ scheduled home games.

The team and league are working together to determine a solution, whether it is to move the venue or play in an empty arena. No other possibilities are apparent.

“We will be reviewing each scheduled event due to take place for the rest of the month and provide an update in the coming days,” the Sharks said in a statement on Monday. “We appreciate the understanding and patience of our fans, guests and partners during this unprecedented time.”

Thus far, no other NHL teams have announced such drastic measures. The Columbus Blue Jackets confirmed they would not restrict fans from attending games, even though the NCAA Mid-American Conference announced closing their tournament to the general public in Cleveland.

The NHL, NBA, MLB and MLS announced all team locker rooms would be open only to players and essential team employees. Media access is restricted to designated areas outside the locker rooms until further notice.

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