Super Bowl 55 always was going to be a homecoming for Chiefs center Austin Reiter, who grew up in Bradenton and played collegiately at USF.
The pandemic has, oddly enough, added an extra, odd layer of familiarity.
“It’s kind of funny to me that the crowd for the Super Bowl is probably about the same size crowd we would get at the South Florida games,” Reiter said Thursday.
Reiter isn’t wrong; in his final two seasons with the Bulls, USF’s actual attendance averaged 20,379 (in 2013) and 19,137 the next year. Attendance for the Super Bowl will be limited to about 25,000 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Reiter’s favorite memory at Raymond James Stadium was one of the exceptions. The 2012 game against No. 4 Florida State (a 30-17 Seminoles win) happened in front of a sellout crowd, announced at 69,383.
“I think we were a little outnumbered, Bull to Seminole fans, but that was probably one of the most memorable games for me,” said Reiter, who started 36 games in his USF career. “That place was rocking that day.”
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