Cardboard cutouts will outnumber fans at Super Bowl LV.
The NFL announced Tuesday that it expects 25,000 fans and 30,000 cutouts in the stands for Sunday evening’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Of the 25,000 fans in attendance, 7,500 will be vaccinated health-care workers invited “as guests of the NFL to thank and honor them for their continued extraordinary service during the pandemic.”
"These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude," NFL commissioner Roger 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 NFL is doing what it can to keep the fans safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The league is providing every fan in attendance with free PPE kits that include masks, wipes and hand sanitizer.
CNN reported that Tampa mayor Jane Castor has issued an executive order maintaining the use of face coverings during Super Bowl events. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a release saying “the safest way to watch the Super Bowl this year is at home with people you live with.”
The NFL, which briefly postponed several games this season but never had to cancel one, said that more than 1.2 million fans have been in attendance across the league’s 116 games thus far in 2020-21. Among the safety measures in place are mandatory masks, social distancing, podded seating, touchless concessions, and controlled entry and security checkpoints.