NFL Reportedly Planning 20% Capacity at 2021 Super Bowl, Fans in Socially-Distanced Pods

by Jennifer Shea
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The National Football League will limit seating at the Super Bowl to 20% of capacity, according to ESPN.

The Super Bowl will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa next year. But thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the Feb. 7 game will be anything but ordinary.

Masks will be required of all guests who enter the stadium. And people will sit in pods spaced six feet apart, ESPN reported.

Raymond James Stadium can seat approximately 75,000 people, according to Reuters. That’s including additional temporary seating. But instead of filling all those seats, the NFL will offer space to about 14,000 to 15,000 fans.

The pandemic has upended the NFL calendar this year. Multiple positive Covid-19 diagnoses have prompted schedule changes and opened up the possibility that the NFL will add an 18th week of games to the regular season.

League Covid-19 Policies

Up until now, the NFL has left it to the home team to decide on attendance for each game. The teams have made those decisions depending on state and local rules. But according to ESPN, half of all NFL teams have opted for paid attendance for at least one game.

Teams like Las Vegas and Washington chose to forego fans this season, Cleveland.com reported. Meanwhile, Dallas and Kansas City have hosted 25,201 and 17,000 fans, respectively.

The NFL has taken a strict approach toward Covid-19 protocols. The league fined the Las Vegas Raiders $50,000 this month for letting an unauthorized team worker into the locker room after a game, the Associated Press reported. The rules allow only 40 designated workers besides players in the locker rooms. That was the second time the NFL had penalized the team for breaking coronavirus rules.

The league recently tightened its rules on social distancing, travel, masks and surveillance video in response to multiple Covid-19 outbreaks across the league.

Outsider.com