NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy acknowledged on Wednesday that they have asked some teams if they could host Super Bowl LVI if they cannot hold the match at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We contacted multiple teams to inquire about the availability of their stadium in the event that the Super Bowl is not played as scheduled due to weather issues, unforeseen circumstances, or increased restrictions,” the spokesperson explained.
Positive test numbers for COVID-19 in NFL teams reached 521 players in the month of December alone, representing one in every four elements in the league. In the entire 2020 season, the NFL had reported 300 cases.
Last Tuesday the United States broke the world record by reporting one million infections from COVID-19.
According to McCarthy, these verification calls with other teams do not mean that the Super Bowl scheduled for February 13 in Los Angeles, California, at the home of the Chargers and Rams, will change venues.
“It is part of our standard contingency planning process that we carry out for all regular and postseason games,” he argued.
Although he acknowledged that the increase in restrictions brought by COVID-19 in several cities of the country has raised the relevance of the forecasts.
“It is not unusual for the league to do this planning every year, but with Los Angeles as the site for this season’s title game and increasing restrictions on attendance at indoor events it has become a relevant issue.”
Despite having this backup plan, Brian McCarthy was confident that Super Bowl LVI could take place on the scheduled date and stadium.
“Our planning process for the Super Bowl in Los Angeles is ahead of schedule, so we look forward to hosting the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13, to cap off another fantastic NFL year.”
Among the stadiums that the league has contemplated as an alternative is AT&T in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys.