SoFi Stadium is scheduled to take center stage on February 13 in the biggest game of the year but COVID cases and hospitalizations are surging across California. L.A. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer is monitoring the situation; despite the rising number of cases, Ferrer believes that the Super Bowl can go on as planned.
“It will be challenging if the surge continues into February, but I do think we’re working closely with both the NFL and SoFi Stadium to have a wonderful Super Bowl here with the appropriate safety precautions that will keep fans safe and our community safe,” she said. “I feel really confident the event will happen here in L.A. There’s no indication that it won’t, and we’ll work really closely to enhance safety if, again, we’re still in the middle of a horrific surge.”
Anaheim Ducks, Grammys Cancel While Late Night Takes A Hit
On Monday, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon revealed that he’d been diagnosed with COVID at the start of his holiday break. By Thursday Seth Meyers and James Corden were both hit with positive diagnoses. Their shows are taking a break until they’re both cleared.
Erring on the side of caution, the Grammy Awards ceremony has been postponed indefinitely while Thursday’s Anaheim Ducks game against the Detroit Red Wings has been pushed to Sunday after four players entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols.
NFL Has Contingency Plans if L.A. Doesn’t Work
SoFi Stadium is designed to host between 70,000 and 100,000 fans. The Super Bowl is already the hottest ticket of the year; couple the biggest game of the year with the allure of a shiny new stadium and it’s a recipe for success. Though the stadium has an innovative window system that allows fresh air inside, nothing will matter if the number of COVID cases in L.A. is too high to host an event that brings so many people together.
The NFL is monitoring the situation in L.A. to make sure that the game can go on as planned, and that means having a contingency plan in case SoFi Stadium isn’t an option. Texas’ AT&T Stadium is at the top of the list, but the NFL insists that they always have an alternate site in case something comes up that could interfere with the big game.
Want To Attend The Super Bowl? ‘Follow Health Orders’ Now
L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell is adamant that the game plays on as planned at SoFi Stadium, and she urges fans with tickets to mask up to ensure that they’re ready for the big game.
“My plea is to all of those – locals and those who will travel to Inglewood to SoFi Stadium for the Super Bowl – that you follow our health orders and that you mask. I would encourage people to get vaccinated and boosted before you come.”
With the number of cases rising at an alarming rate, the only way to ensure fans will be able to attend the game in February is to start planning for it now. That means staying healthy and wearing a mask to avoid getting sick.
What Happens If The Teams Get Sick Before Super Bowl Sunday?
The lesson to be learned from college football is that keeping players healthy enough to play a big game is challenging. Five college football bowl games were canceled ahead of the National Football Championship game; the Holiday Bowl between UCLA and NC State was canceled mere hours before kickoff.
If the NFL is serious about playing the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium then it needs to make sure the players stay safe ahead of the big game. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about canceling parties, appearances and media events to limit contact as much as possible. Avoid anything that can put players at risk.
The worst case scenario is fan attendance at the game is limited or eliminated, but there’s nothing that can be done if the players contract COVID. That’s one Super Bowl bet no one needs.