Even the Super Bowl isn’t immune from COVID-19.
The global pandemic that’s impacted the sports world and the world in general for nearly a year will limit attendance at the big game, too. The NFL had varying attendance policies throughout the 2020 regular season depending on where teams/stadiums were located, because different states and localities had different rules governing gatherings.
Super Bowl 55, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, won’t feature a full stadium and will have additional policies in place that could keep fans with symptoms out of the stadium altogether.
Are fans allowed at Super Bowl in 2021?
Yes, fans are allowed at Super Bowl 55 on Feb. 7, 2021.
The exact number of fans will come out to about 22,000. The NFL has invited 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to the Super Bowl for free. On top of that, there will be 14,500 additional fans who purchased tickets to attend.
Information on fans at the Super Bowl in Tampa:
7,500 invited health care workers
➕ 14,500 additional fans
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) January 22, 2021
The Buccaneers, who play their home games in Raymond James Stadium, home of this year’s Super Bowl, didn’t allow 20,000 fans in at any point during the season, so this will be slightly fuller than those games. The state of Florida permitted stadiums to operate at full capacity as of October, but none of the state’s three NFL teams went for that extreme. Raymond James Stadium usually holds 65,000 and can expand to 75,000.
NFL COVID-19 testing for Super Bowl
The NFL’s “ticketback terms” for Super Bowl 55 include a section called the “Fan Health Promise.” The following is the league’s wording for what would require fans to “stay at home,” with “Holder” being used to denote someone who has a ticket to the Super Bowl:
Holder agrees that neither Holder, nor anyone in Holder’s party, will attend the Event if any one or more of the following is true on the day of the Event:
- Within the prior 14 days, Holder has (or any person in Holder’s party or with whom Holder has close contact has) tested positive for, or been exposed to someone who has tested positive for, COVID-19;
- Within the prior 48 hours, Holder has (or any person in Holder’s party or with whom Holder has close contact has) experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., a fever of 100.4⁰F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking, muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by the CDC);
- Within the prior 14 days, Holder has (or any person in Holder’s party or with whom Holder has close contact has) traveled to any state or international territory identified by federal or applicable local governments as being subject to travel or quarantine advisories due to COVID-19.
What if Super Bowl fans have COVID-19?
The NFL removes its liability for any fans who make it into the game while carrying COVID-19.
The league uses legal language to lay out why it isn’t its fault if COVID-19 is passed at Raymond James Stadium, stating, “An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the CDC, senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By entering the stadium and stadium grounds, Holder voluntarily assumes all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.
Can the NFL void tickets to Super Bowl in 2021 due to COVID-19?
The NFL’s official Ticket Exchange website includes guidance for what happens if the league has to change its Super Bowl attendance policy.
When attempting to buy a ticket, the following message appears:
“Please note that due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19, scheduling may be impacted and the NFL, the teams or venues may cancel, reschedule or postpone games. Full refunds will be available if the NFL or the team cancels a game and it cannot be replayed, or if it is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending. If a game is postponed or rescheduled, your tickets may be valid for the new date, so hang onto them and we will keep you posted.”