California Curfew Pushes Up College Football Start Time

Brock Fritz Headshot

California isn’t likely to see any more late-night college football games this season.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s new statewide curfew will require non-essential workers in 41 counties to remain in their homes between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. until Dec. 21. That change, which comes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will have a direct impact on college football, according to ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura.

Bonagura tweeted that he doesn’t expect any California games to start after 6 p.m. local time and that “College athletic departments in California are making preparations in order to be in compliance with the state’s 10 p.m. curfew, according to multiple sources. College sporting events are not exempt from the order and schools are looking to move up scheduled start times.”

According to The Spokesman-Review, the curfew has already caused USC to move its Dec. 4 home game against Washington State up from 6:30 p.m. until 6 p.m.

USC is facing more pressing issues, however, as the Los Angeles Times reported that the Trojans shut down their facilities and held virtual meetings after a player tested positive following last weekend’s road win over Utah.

The Pac-12 is working with a severely compressed schedule. After initially postponing the football season until spring, the conference was the last to return this season for a seven-game schedule that started Nov. 7 and is slated to run through the conference championship game Dec. 18.

Related content: Oregon, Cal Governors Clear Way for Pac-12 Sports

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