The 2020 NFL season was a challenge. At times, it appeared the season was in danger as the coronavirus (COVID-19) wreaked havoc with the NFL and its scheduling. Many stadiums went without having fans, while some had limited capacity. With Super Bowl 55 bringing an end to the 2020 season on Sunday, how many fans will be allowed to attend the big game?
The 2020 NFL season took its toll on players and families
The 2020 NFL season was like no other. Players were forced to get tested for COVID-19 on a daily basis. They had to remain secluded and be very careful who they were with. There was no going out after games or practice. Mental health became an issue for both the players and their families while playing football during a pandemic.
“The ladies were talking about how they’ve had their own episodes of depression, their own times of crying in the shower and crying in the bathroom, of just being very anxious and worried about what’s going to happen, anxieties that have only increased with COVID,” said director of player wellness at the NFL Players Association, Dr. Amber Cargill, according to NFL.com.
It wasn’t just the players who had to watch their every move, but their families had to do the same. “It’s changed our lives completely,” said Nikki Jordan, wife of New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan. “Not only are the guys accountable for what they do off the field — we’re held accountable, as well, because they can always catch it from us. So we’ve got to limit our risk of how we can catch COVID so that our husbands and their teammates and coaches are safe.”
Fans were also deprived of getting out and going to the games
Many NFL teams were forced to play their home games without any fans. Others played with very limited crowds. It was one wacky season in the NFL as COVID-19 took control over the league.
As the season went on, some teams loosened their policy on fans, increasing the number on a game-by-game basis. No team ever had full capacity at a game this season. The Green Bay Packers, for example, began the season with no fans in attendance. For their last four home games of the regular season, the Packers had fewer than 1,000 fans in attendance.
The Packers were the top seed in the NFC and upped their attendance in the playoffs. The team sold 6,000 tickets and then allowed a limited number of health care workers and first responders and their families, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. The stadium was roughly 10% full in the postseason.
How many fans will be able to attend Super Bowl 55?
The Super Bowl ticket is one of the toughest to get in all of sports. The stadium is always jam-packed with rowdy fans and corporate folks. Like the regular season, the NFL is limiting the attendance of Super Bowl 55, which will be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. How many fans will be able to go?
Due to COVID-19, Super Bowl 55 will be the lowest-attended Super Bowl. Only 25,000 people will be allowed to attend. Raymond James Stadium seats 65,890 fans. According to CBS Sports, among the fans that will view the Super Bowl in-person will be 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers. They will attend the game on an all-expense paid trip and the league will recognize healthcare workers during the game.
“These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “We hope in a small way that this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes.”