- 22,000 fans will be allowed to attend Super Bowl LV next month.
- The NFL is inviting 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers to come for free, which will count toward the 22,000 limit.
- The big game will take place in Tampa, Florida on February 7.
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The football season is coming to an end next month, and despite the looming threat of COVID-19, at least some fans will be there in person to see it.
The National Football League will allow 22,000 people to attend Super Bowl LV, league commissioner Roger Goodell announced in a Friday press release.
Included in that number are 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers who will be invited by the NFL to attend the game free of charge, according to the release. Most of the healthcare workers will come from Tampa and elsewhere in Central Florida, and all 32 NFL teams will choose vaccinated workers from their communities as well.
The NFL said it made the decision to limit capacity and invite people who have already been inoculated with guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control, the Florida Department of Health, and local healthcare facilities. Protocols in place to stem the spread of COVID-19 include mandatory mask-wearing and physical distancing, controlled entry and exit points, and “touchless in-stadium experiences at concessions, restrooms, and security checkpoints.”
Goodell said the NFL has planned to honor healthcare workers throughout the game’s CBS broadcast and in the stadium.
“These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” Goodell said. “We hope in a small way that this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes. This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings.”
Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, where Super Bowl LV will take place on Feb. 7, can accommodate 65,000 to 75,000 people, according to its website.
Thousands of free tickets plus significantly reduced stadium capacity means Super Bowl ticket revenues will be severely diminished in 2021 as compared to years past. But the NFL still stands to make billions by licensing the broadcasting rights out to a network – this year, it’s CBS.
Depending on the results of the conference finals this Sunday, the big game will feature the Green Bay Packers or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing off against the Buffalo Bills or the Kansas City Chiefs.