NFL Announces Super Bowl LV Will Host 22K Fans at Raymond James Stadium

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2020, file photo NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference in Miami. “The NFL stands with the Black community, the players, clubs and fans,” NFL Goodell said last week. “Confronting recent systemic racism with tangible and productive steps is absolutely essential. We will not relent in our work.” (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Friday the league is planning to host 22,000 fans for Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

The group will include 7,500 vaccinated health care workers, mostly from the local community, who will be invited as guests amid the coronavirus pandemic along with 14,500 ticketed fans.

"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."

The Super Bowl will feature standard COVID-19 protocols, including required masks and social distancing, along with other safety measures such as "podded seating, touchless in-stadium experiences at concessions, restrooms and security checkpoints."

Health care workers in attendance will be celebrated through a "variety of special moments both in the stadium and during the CBS broadcast."

The NFL, which allowed teams to make individual decisions about whether to host fans throughout the 2020 season based on local coronavirus guidelines, worked with state officials on the Super Bowl plans. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis released a statement about the decision:

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"Florida is proud to host Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to crown the champion of an unprecedented NFL season. On behalf of Floridians and football fans across the nation, I'd like to thank the many men and women who worked hard to make this game a reality, especially our frontline health care workers who have worked tirelessly over the past year to keep people safe. I look forward to the positive impact this game will have on the Tampa Bay area, and my family and I can't wait for the big game!"

Details about when tickets will be available to the general public weren't included in the announcement.

The teams that will appear in Super Bowl LV will be decided Sunday when the conference championship games take place.

In the AFC, Patrick Mahomes and the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs will host Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. In the NFC, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will welcome Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to legendary Lambeau Field.

The winners will face off Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS.