- Super Bowl 55 will be the first Super Bowl held during a Pandemic.
- Only one-third of the Raymond James Stadium’s capacity will be filled with fans because of the Coronavirus.
- Signed health waivers will be needed by any fan looking to join in the pre-game Super Bowl festivities as well as appointment times.
TAMPA, Fla. – The Coronavirus Pandemic has changed the way the world has been running and Super Bowl 55 is no different.
The biggest event of the year for the NFL will look a bit different this year than it in past games but that aligns perfectly with the less than ordinary season that was played in 2020 with COVID-19 lurking.
Raymond James Stadium and the city of Tampa in Florida have been implementing all of the necessary precautions to host Super Bowl 55 while keeping the health safety of the players, personnel, and fans as the main focus for how everything will operate.
Super Bowl 55 Is COVID-19 Ready & Other Details
This is the first time in Super Bowl history that a team playing in the game will be playing in their home stadium as Tampa was set to host SB 55 well in advance of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers making their way onto the ticket stubs.
Another first for the Championship game’s history is having its first female referee in Sarah Thomas, as part of the officials’ team to call the game.
“Sarah Thomas has made history again as the first female Super Bowl official. Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor,” said Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations.
The first two changes mentioned are positive changes but these next few are alterations that were required to prevent the further spread of the illness.
Although Raymond James Stadium can hold a maximum capacity of 65,890 fans, this has been cut down to one-third of that with 22,000 people allowed to see the game. Of that number, 7,500 are vaccinated healthcare workers that have been given free admission to the event for their service in combatting COVID-19.
So, with a limited number of fans, only one-third of the regular capacity is something that will look very different. Typically, stadiums seem to be beyond their capacity for people watching their televisions at home each year because so many people want to attend the game it’s almost standing room only.
Other areas with change include pregame festivities which have been scaled back considerably but will still take place. Rather than a come-one-come-all style of parties, guests will be welcomed only after signing waivers about COVID-19, and to ensure that social distancing is still being followed, appointment times for when people can go to certain events will be needed.
All of this is to keep in line with the number of people that is a safe cap for health safety and preventative measures.
The Halftime Show that is being headlined by The Weeknd and other performers will have dancers and others allowed on stage. However, all people on the field and stage for the show will be limited and much smaller rather than crowds swimming with people as is usually seen.
Other Minor Details
Sponsorships and commercials for the Super Bowl will be down this year because companies are not sure about advertising at such a high expense given that they have no idea when things will go back to normal from COVID-19.
Most notably, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi will all be sitting out this Super Bowl. Budweiser has decided to use the money they would have spent on a Super Bowl ad instead to buy air time later in the year to advertise vaccine awareness. Coca-Cola will also use its Super Bowl ad funds for other business expenses.
Retail sportsbooks are also not going to be able to do as much business on their biggest day of the year with NFL fans betting on Super Bowl 55 because many of them nationwide are still operating at 50% maximum capacities.
Mobile sportsbooks are slated to see most of the action but they normally do anyway, except maybe they will more so than usual this year because of land-based establishments being held back from being fully operational.
Even with all of these changes, the fun starts on Sunday, at 6:30 p.m. EST on the CBS Network where Tony Romo and Jim Nantz will be announcing Super Bowl 55 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs vying for the title as the Champions of the NFL.
NFL sportsbooks currently have the KC Chiefs as 3.5-point favorites over the home-town Bucs.
News tags: CBS | Coronavirus pandemic | COVID-19 | ESPN | Florida | Jim Nantz | Kansas City Chiefs | NFL | Raymond James Stadium | Sarah Thomas | SB 55 | Super Bowl 2021 | Super Bowl 55 | Tampa | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | The Weeknd | Tony Romo | Troy Vincent
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.