INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — With the Super Bowl only a month away, preparations are in full swing to bring the NFL’s premiere event back to the place where it all began.
And both NFL officials and local organizers say the championship game is not leaving the Los Angeles area.
The NFL has no plans to move the Super Bowl to Arlington, Texas or anywhere else, despite a recent rise in COVID-19 cases and health precautions in California, several officials said Thursday at Sophie Stadium. confirmed during a media event. A month before the 56th edition of the Super Bowl on February 13.
“All of our plans for Super Bowl week are in full swing a month from today,” said Katie Keenan, the NFL’s senior director of event operations. “We are working with everyone here, along with the LA County Department of Health, to make sure all of our events are being conducted safely.”
The first Super Bowl was held in January 1967 at the Coliseum in downtown Los Angeles. The 56th edition will be held for the first time at the 2-year-old stadium of Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, which opened just south in the summer of 2020. With a unique indoor-outdoor design from Los Angeles that includes a translucent ceiling and significant airflow from the open ends over the low-slung bowl.
A media fiasco was raised earlier this month when the NFL explored the feasibility of using the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium as a backup site for the Super Bowl, apparently due to coronavirus regulations in California. Had to stop staging the Super Bowl here.
The NFL immediately confirmed that it finds a backup site for the Super Bowl every year, and that it had no serious concerns about Inglewood’s ability to catch the game.
Several California universities have limited fan attendance at indoor sporting events after a series of postponements related to the coronavirus in January. But those decisions were made by universities rather than by state mandates, and Southern California’s professional sports teams didn’t follow suit, with the Rams and Chargers welcoming full homes in January.
Rams chief operating officer Kevin DeMoff noted that Sophie has comprehensive coronavirus safety protocols in place for all 17 regular-season games played at the stadium by the Rams and Chargers. Those precautions still apply on Monday night for the first playoff game in stadium history when the fourth-seeded Rams (12-5) host the Arizona Cardinals (11-6).
“I don’t think anyone here has ever wavered at being able to play this game and play it safely,” Demoff said. “We’ve had a wonderful, safe environment all year round. We’re lucky to have an outdoor facility where the air comes in. We think this building is very safe. The people who come to our games have learned to be safe , and we’re doing everything we can to stay safe.”