Warren Smith on SD Loyal’s Return: Home Games Will Be Behind Closed Doors

Warren Smith on SD Loyal’s Return: Home Games Will Be Behind Closed Doors

USL has announced games will return July 11th.

Unlike MLS, who has tentative plans for a “hub” tournament in Orlando, USL teams will be playing matches in their own venues.

Warren Smith on KUSI

This morning on KUSI in San Diego, San Diego Loyal President Warren Smith announced that details will be emerging later this week. Smith happily described behind-the-scenes planning for actual matches, a welcome shift away from the “what if” planning that has been the focus for the last few months.

Details about matches, scheduling, and season length will be coming later this week, Smith assured viewers. One this is for sure, though:

Home games will be behind closed doors

Smith explained that California Governor Gavin Newsom’s health orders do allow for pro sports to return in June. The plan, however, stipulates that all pro sports are to be played behind closed doors without fans. San Diego Loyal will be playing matches as of July 11th, but any games in California will be without fans.

Smith did not say whether games will be held at USD Torero Stadium. With the high price of rent and no fans passing through the turnstiles, games in smaller venues with lower price tags seems a likely possibility.

“The teams, staff, refs, and broadcast teams” will be on hand for games, Smith described on KUSI. “We want to protect our players, our staff, and the fans. … We need to prove that we can keep people safe.”

Games with fans in other states are possible

Smith explained that other states have loosened restrictions to allow for games with fans in the seats. “Other states are allowing fans, so we will learn from them,” Smith told KUSI’s Lauren Phinney. Whether that means SD Loyal will stay away from games with fans in attendance has yet to be announced.

More details about SD Loyal’s season are sure to emerge this week.