The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the Super Bowl in a lot of ways (Media Day consisted of players sitting alone in rooms for Zoom conferences with reporters), but none will be more noticeable than the stadium crowd on Sunday.
No matter where it’s held, the stadium is usually packed to the brim with cheering fans. This year it’ll be much different. In-person attendance had to be massively reduced for health and safety reasons. Raymond James Stadium, which can hold over 65,000 people, will host a mix of fans and cardboard cutouts of fans.
People watching from home should expect to see quite a few flat, unmoving “fans” in the stands. According to the official attendance numbers the NFL released Tuesday morning, there will be more cardboard cutouts than real fans at Super Bowl LV.
According to the NFL: The official attendance at Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl LV will be: 25,000 fans and 30,000 cutouts.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 2, 2021
Who will get to attend the Super Bowl?
The NFL previously announced that 22,000 fans would attend the Super Bowl in person, divided between healthcare workers and regular fans. Super Bowl tickets (7,500) will be given to vaccinated healthcare workers from the Tampa area, and each team will get to select several vaccinated healthcare workers from their area to send to the big game. An additional 14,500 tickets would be available for purchase.
The NFL’s Tuesday announcement increased the in-person attendance by 3,000, but there was no information about whether more healthcare workers are being invited, or if there are more tickets available for purchase.
As Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported Monday, the secondary market for Super Bowl tickets has been weak. Prices have been lower than expected, and if there are more tickets available for purchase, that’s probably not going to help. While that’s bad news for anyone looking to make money off Super Bowl tickets, it’s great for anyone who is still in the market to buy some tickets.
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