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NFL confident about L.A. Super Bowl amid pandemic, but still has alternate sites

An American Flag is displayed on the field at AT&T Stadium.
An American Flag is displayed on the field before a College Football Playoff semifinal game between Cincinnati and Alabama at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 31.
(Richard Rodriguez / Getty Images)

The NFL is moving ahead full tilt with the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium, despite news Wednesday that the Grammy Awards have been postponed because of coronavirus concerns.

“Every single game we’ve played this year in a full-capacity stadium has allowed us to hone our protocols and prepare not only for game day at SoFi — in what is considered an outdoor building with a roof — but also for Super Bowl week,” said Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s executive vice president of club business and league events.

This is the first Super Bowl in the Los Angeles area since the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills played at the Rose Bowl in early 1993.

“We want to be a role model,” O’Reilly said. “We know we’ve got a platform here, but we also know that we can do things safely and effectively. This is a big moment for us and for L.A., being back there after all these years and we’re really confident in our plan.”

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According to a report Wednesday by WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, the league has looked into the availability of AT&T Stadium, home of the Cowboys, as an alternate Super Bowl site should COVID-19 restrictions in California merit relocating the event.

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The NFL’s standard protocol is to have multiple stadium options, even for regular-season games, should one need to be moved. Those contingency plans are routine, no matter the situation.

“That’s not where I’m spending any energy or time,” O’Reilly said. “Our plans for Super Bowl week and the game in Los Angeles are moving forward fully. We’re confident in our protocols for putting on full-capacity games safely.”

Said Kathy Schloessman, chief executive of the Los Angeles Super Bowl Host Committee: “We’re looking forward to this opportunity to really show off Los Angeles to the rest of the world, and also show that Los Angeles can host safe events and it’s business as usual.”


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