Air quality threatens Arizona Cardinals season-opener

Poor air quality caused by wildfires is threatening to postpone the Arizona Cardinals matchup with the San Francisco 49ers

After months of anticipation, fans of the Arizona Cardinals may have to wait some more. Those of use who are counting the minutes to our team’s season-opener with the San Francisco 49ers are at the mercy of Mother Nature. While many believed that COVID-19 could threaten the playing of a football contest, there’s something new now that the game’s diehard followers need to worry about.

Because of the wildfires that have ravaged Northern California, there’s a possibility that the Cards matchup on opening weekend with the 49ers may have to be played at a later date. As of Friday morning, the air quality index reading (AQI) in the area surrounding Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium was in the “unhealthy” range. What exactly does that mean?

If the AQI reads 200 or more, games or practices are not permitted by the National Football League. Of course, it’s a bit difficult to predict what the exact number will be on gameday. The Cardinals, at the moment, are scheduled to fly out to San Jose on Saturday evening.

There are other options for the predicament if the meeting between the division rivals can’t take place this Sunday. One is to move the game to State Farm Stadium in Glendale, where the two teams are slated to meet on December 27th. The rematch could then be held in Santa Clara on that date, when the conditions around Levi’s Stadium are better.

Another option would be to play the contest on Monday, or possibly even Tuesday. Arizona general manager Steve Keim addressed the situation on Friday morning. “I’ve had talks with the NFL and (49ers GM) John Lynch at length just to get a pulse out there, there’s a lot of moving parts to it”, said Keim.

For now, all we can do is keep our fingers crossed. Let’s all hope that nature cooperates, and the Cards can get their 2020 campaign underway on September 13th.

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