The 55th annual Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take place this year on Feb. 7 at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Like most events taking place during the coronavirus pandemic, the game will look very different from previous years. This includes how many people will be allowed to attend Super Bowl LV.
Among other things, expect a less elaborate and grandstanding halftime performance, which will be headlined by The Weeknd. Fans also won’t be packed into seats like they would during regular times.
Originally, only 22,000 total people could attend the Super Bowl this year, even though the state of Florida has allowed stadiums to operate at full capacity since October. But since then, the official attendance is supposed to reach 25,000 people.
Raymond James Stadium holds approximately 65,000 attendees but can be expanded to 75,000 for special events. In addition to the fans who purchased tickets, the NFL also invited 7,500 fully vaccinated healthcare workers to attend Super Bowl LV for free to “thank and honor them for their continued extraordinary service during the pandemic.”
Each of the 32 NFL clubs will choose vaccinated healthcare workers from their respective communities to attend the game. The majority will come from the Tampa or central Florida area.
“These dedicated healthcare workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”
How the NFL plans to keep fans safe during the Super Bowl
More than two-thirds of Super Bowl LV attendees will not require vaccinations, so the NFL’s Ticketback Terms include a “Fan Health Promise.” If a ticket holder or anyone in their party experiences the following, they must agree to stay home on game day.
- Within 14 days before the game, the ticket holder, anyone in their party, or anyone they have been in close contact with has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Within 48 hours before the game, the ticket holder, anyone in their party, or anyone they have been in close contact with has experienced symptoms of COVID-19. (Symptoms include a fever of 100.4⁰F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking, muscle pain, achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, or fatigue.)
- Within the 14 days before the game, the ticket holder, anyone in their party, or anyone they have been in close contact with has traveled to any state or international territory identified by federal or applicable local governments as being subject to travel or quarantine advisories due to COVID-19.
Additionally, the NFL is eschewing liability for anyone who might contract COVID-19 during the game. The organization states that the ticket holder “voluntarily assumes all risks, hazards, and dangers of attending the game.”
“An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death,” the terms state. “According to the CDC, senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By entering the stadium and stadium grounds, Holder voluntarily assumes all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”