The Air Quality Index was at 156 right before kickoff.
The NFL is sticking with its plan to play the Monday Night Football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants, even with smoke from dangerous wildfires burning throughout California. The Camp Fire is about 250 miles northeast of Levi’s Stadium.
The fires are close enough to the stadium that smoke has diminished the air quality to the point that it’s considered an “unhealthy” level.
The NFL said that if the Air Quality Index got to a level of 200, then the game would be relocated. It’s not quite at 200, but right before kickoff the Air Quality Index was 156 — high enough to issue warnings about exerting a lot of energy outside.
The air quality in Santa Clara right now is 156, due to the nearby “Camp Fire” in Northern Calif. That’s considered unhealthy and comes with a warning that “everyone should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.” … The “serious health effects” don’t start until the AQI hits 201.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) November 13, 2018
Masks available, #49ers have extra oxygen available on the sideline for the players given the unhealthy nature of playing in these conditions.
— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) November 13, 2018
The NFL doesn’t often move games, due to cost, travel, and the rigors of the schedule. Last season, it happened once. The Week 1 game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins was moved to Week 11 after Hurricane Irma hit Miami as a Category 5 storm.
The 49ers’ practice on Friday was shortened due to air quality concerns from the fire. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that he was prepared for this to happen on Saturday afternoon.
“Obviously our prayers go out to all those people because that is probably the most important thing going on in our country right now, that we’ve got to get that fixed, because it’s scary and it’s a real deal. I know how many people it’s affected in this building, so I can’t imagine around the state. As far as the game on Monday, I don’t know. We’re ready to play and I don’t plan on things changing. If they do, it’s because it needs to. We’ll wait until someone tells us what we’re doing after and we’ll be ready to do it.”
The 49ers embraced the surrounding community by inviting the Paradise High School football team to the game. They had to forfeit their playoff berth due to wildfires destroying the area.
Paradise Strong pic.twitter.com/sOHzeVyqwE
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 13, 2018
The 49ers don’t have another home game on the schedule until Dec. 9, Week 14. The Raiders won’t be at home again until Week 13.
During the game, the broadcast noted that the air quality was getting worse. Right before halftime, the air quality was at 161 — five points higher than the 156 AQI at the start of the game.
There was a haze on the field due to the fires, even though the fires are raging over 200 miles away from the field.
Odell Beckham was seen getting some extra oxygen on the sideline after the Giants kicked a field goal to tie the game at 10.
If you want to keep up with the Air Quality Index for the game tonight, click here. If you’d like to help those affected by the devastation from the fires, check out this link from the Red Cross. Niners Nation has more, as well.
Read more: sbnation.com