The NFL is expecting to reduce its seating capacity for Super Bowl LV to 20%, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The highly touted game is set to be played on February 7th.
The Super Bowl will be held in Tampa Bay this year at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. The stadium regularly holds 65,000-odd fans, but with temporary seating has the potential of 75,000.
Thus far, the NFL has elected to leave the topic of fans in attendance up to the respective teams. So long as they are in concert with local and state health officials. The majority of the league is going forward with fans in the seats. More than half the league has hosted at least one game with fans in attendance. This year’s Super Bowl host, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has an average of 10, 961 fans in the stadium in two-home games this year.
What’s at Stake for the League
This season is fraught with unforeseen circumstances. The pandemic has forced the rescheduling of games and even players to decide to opt-out of the season in its entirety. The league is mulling the possibility of rain-checking the Super Bowl for up to four weeks in the event of too many missed games. Fortunately, all suspended games have been able to be rescheduled into the initial 17-game schedule.
The league hopes that this early decision to reduce capacity does not face a greater loss down the road. The Super Bowl is lauded for being one of the greatest spectacles on earth, and the revenue it brings in is colossal. Not to mention the amendments that will likely have to be made to the half-time performance — if there is one.
The NFL has contingency plans in the event of requiring extra time to complete the regular season. It will eradicate the regularly scheduled week between the NFC and AFC championship games and the Super Bowl.