Coronavirus: NFL reportedly eyes contingency sites for Super Bowl

The NFL is exploring options for alternate sites for next month’s Super Bowl if the recent spikes of COVID-19 cases in California force a change of venue, according to a report.

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According to WFAA-TV in Dallas, one of the sites the league might consider is AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Super Bowl LVI is currently scheduled to take place on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, just outside of Los Angeles. It is scheduled to be the first Super Bowl in the Los Angeles area in 29 years, Sports Illustrated reported. Super Bowl XXVII was held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Jan. 31, 1993.

“We plan on playing Super Bowl 56 as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 13,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told WFAA on Wednesday. “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.”

AT&T Stadium hosted the Rose Bowl in 2021 when it was moved from Pasadena because of COVID-19 restrictions in California, according to The Associated Press.

A source with the City of Arlington told WFAA that officials sent a message to the NFL in mid-December as COVID case counts began to spike as a result of the omicron variant, stating that Arlington is ready to step in to host the game if necessary.

Phoenix is scheduled to host the Super Bowl in 2023, Las Vegas in 2024 and New Orleans in 2025. SoFi Stadium had initially been slated to host last year’s Super Bowl before construction issues forced a move to Tampa, Florida.

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