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NFL looks at contingency sites for Super Bowl amid COVID-19

The NFL’s championship game currently is scheduled for Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.
Super Bowl 56 currently is scheduled for Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.
Super Bowl 56 currently is scheduled for Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. [ KYUSUNG GONG | AP ]
Published Jan. 5

NEW YORK — The NFL, not surprisingly in the midst of a rise in COVID-19 cases, has looked into other potential sites for next month’s Super Bowl.

That’s not unusual because the league does so every year. But with Los Angeles the site for this year’s title game, and restrictions increasing for attendance at indoor events, it has become more noteworthy.

“We plan on playing Super Bowl 56 as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 13,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Wednesday. “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.”

AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, reportedly is one of the facilities contacted. The stadium hosted the Rose Bowl in 2021 when it was switched from Pasadena because of COVID-19 restrictions in California.

California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said that it’s not just the Super Bowl that brings people to Los Angeles County, but a week or more of events across the region. He said officials are committed to making sure the events go forward as planned, “that the mitigation strategies that create safety around that event are in place.”

“I know L.A. County is closely in contact with the NFL to make sure that strategies are put in place to ensure that people can enjoy this important event while making sure that we put things in place that allow COVID mitigation to be an important feature of the approach to that game that is just over a month away,” Ghaly said Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, the Grammy Awards were postponed indefinitely. They were scheduled for Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Jan. 31. Organizers cited health and safety concerns.

The Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium is scheduled for Feb. 13.

• • •

How to get tested

Tampa Bay: The Times can help you find the free, public COVID-19 testing sites in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.

Florida: The Department of Health has a website that lists testing sites in the state. Some information may be out of date.

The U.S.: The Department of Health and Human Services has a website that can help you find a testing site.

• • •

How to get vaccinated

The COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 and up and booster shots for eligible recipients are being administered at doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, grocery stores and public vaccination sites. Many allow appointments to be booked online. Here’s how to find a site near you:

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Find a site: Visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination sites in your ZIP code.

More help: Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline.

Phone: 800-232-0233. Help is available in English, Spanish and other languages.

TTY: 888-720-7489

Disability Information and Access Line: Call 888-677-1199 or email DIAL@n4a.org.

• • •

More coronavirus coverage

KIDS AND VACCINES: Got questions about vaccinating your kid? Here are some answers.

BOOSTER SHOTS: Confused about which COVID booster to get? This guide will help.

BOOSTER QUESTIONS: Are there side effects? Why do I need it? Here’s the answers to your questions.

PROTECTING SENIORS: Here’s how seniors can stay safe from the virus.

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