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NFL plays down Super Bowl speculation

The NFL American football league is planning on staging this year’s Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium as scheduled amid suggestions the game may be moved due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles.

SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, is due to host the Super Bowl on February 13. The NFL has confirmed that “several clubs” have been contacted to potentially step in and host the event but the league is confident its showpiece event will be held at SoFi Stadium.

Yesterday (Wednesday), the decision was taken to postpone this year’s Grammys, which were due to be held at Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center) on January 31.

Organisers cited health and safety concerns for the postponement and there remains a possibility that the Super Bowl could be affected by any further rise in COVID-19 cases. Los Angeles County reported more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

It has been reported that AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, is among the venues being considered if SoFi Stadium is unable to host. AT&T Stadium stepped in to host last year’s Rose Bowl after the game was switched from Pasadena, California.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Reuters news agency: “We plan on playing Super Bowl LVI as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13.

“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.”

SoFi Stadium has been hosting Rams and Chargers games all season without any capacity limits.

Last year’s Super Bowl took place at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The attendance for the game was 24,835, with capacity limited due to COVID-19.

Image: Troutfarm27/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size