Sharks’ Becher defends team’s games amid county caution

Fans walk outside of SAP Center at San Jose before Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final series between the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Eric Risberg/AP)

San Jose Sharks president Jonathan Becher says the team made the best decision with the information at the time when it played three home games following a recommendation by the county against large gatherings in early March.

Santa Clara County issued a recommendation on March 5 that mass gatherings should be postponed or cancelled to control the spread of the new coronavirus. The recommendation also said that if large gatherings can’t be avoided that people who are sick or at high risk shouldn’t attend and extra cleaning precautions should be taken.

The Sharks followed the second list of instructions and played three home games before the county banned all large gatherings March 9. The NHL season suspended later that week.

Becher says it’s important to remember that “early March felt a lot different than we are today and we were all making the best decision we could with the information we had at the time.”

Becher says the team is continuing to pay full and part-time employees and anticipates a financial hit from the suspension of the season. He also said the team has delayed the Tuesday deadline for season-ticket holders to renew their packages.

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