While the NFL has backup options in the works if the need arises to move next month’s Super Bowl, the California Health and Human Services Secretary said Wednesday to expect the game to go on as planned in Los Angeles.
“I want to be clear, the Super Bowl is coming to Los Angeles,” Dr. Mark Ghaly said, via Ashley Zavala of FOX 40.
Via Jeremy B. White of Politico, Ghaly said state and local officials have remained in contact with the NFL as the state and county see rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. California announced on Wednesday that they would extend an indoor mask mandate through mid-February, which puts the date of the Super Bowl under mask requirements.
“I think Californians are excited to see that event occur,” Ghaly said, “and the work is to be sure that, as it is moving forward as planned, the mitigation strategies that create safety around that event are in place.”
The NFL released a statement on Wednesday about their contingency planning while also stating they fully intend to play the game at SoFi Stadium next month.
“We plan on playing Super Bowl LVI as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “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.”
An imposition of attendance restrictions would seemingly be the biggest potential threat to Los Angeles hosting the game at this point. Mask mandates have continued on in NFL stadiums this year depending on the rules of local authorities.