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NFL looking into backup venues for Super Bowl LVI amid COVID concerns

Super Bowl LVI is just over a month away, putting SoFi Stadium on the NFL’s centerstage this February. The league fully expects the game to be played as scheduled, but in the event that it can’t be held in Inglewood, the NFL wants to be prepared.

According to Mike Leslie of WFAA in Dallas, the NFL is looking into the availability of other stadiums outside of California as a backup plan if local COVID-19 restrictions cause complications. AT&T Stadium in Arlington is one venue the league has inquired about to see if it would be available as an emergency option.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed to WFAA that the league has contacted “several clubs to inquire about stadium availability” in the event that the Super Bowl can’t be played as scheduled “due to weather-related issues or unforeseen circumstances.

“We plan on playing Super Bowl LVI as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13,” McCarthy said. “As part of our standard contingency planning process that we conduct for all regular and postseason games, we have contacted several clubs to inquire about stadium availability in the event we cannot play the Super Bowl as scheduled due to weather-related issues or unforeseen circumstances. Our planning process for the Super Bowl in Los Angeles is ahead of schedule and we look forward to hosting the Super Bowl there to culminate another fantastic NFL season for our fans and clubs.”

So far, there have been no attendance restrictions at SoFi Stadium for Rams or Chargers games this season, though fans over the age of 5 must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test prior to attending a game.

COVID cases are spiking around the country, and Los Angeles is no exception. On Jan. 4, there were 22,632 new cases reported and the seven-day average sits at 21,037.

The NFL is just covering its bases with these inquiries, but it’s certainly a situation that will bear monitoring in the lead-up to Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13.


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