As the NFL prepares to release its 2020 regular-season schedule this evening, all plans are still a go for the league's crown jewel event.
Super Bowl LV is, for now, still scheduled to be played on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium according to Rob Higgins, CEO/president of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee.
"We know the NFL is focused on planning for a full regular season that kicks off as scheduled and concludes here in our community on February 7th," Higgins told CBSSports.com in a statement. "We are focused on helping the NFL execute a great celebration on that date."
"If we have to make adjustments along the way, we will do so. That's what we do as event planners and hosts. But we have not been instructed to do so by the NFL. We have a great partnership with the NFL and work hand-in-hand and communicate daily on a whole host of matters. Our partnership with the NFL has never been stronger and will continue well beyond the time the last guest leaves Tampa Bay after the Super Bowl next year."
Super Bowl LV, which will be broadcast on CBS, will be the fifth Super Bowl held in Tampa. The city has hosted Super Bowls for the 1983, 1990, 2000 and 2008 seasons.
Thursday night's schedule release figures to have a normal-looking 17-week regular-season schedule. Multiple sources around the league in recent weeks have brought up the potential to slide the schedule back by weeks in order to accommodate whatever world we may be facing as it relates to COVID-19. A normal schedule, as opposed to one designed to lose specific games early in the season, would reinforce that belief.
A high-ranking team executive told CBSSports.com last month that Tampa is well situated to host such a major winter event in uncertain times.
"If there were ever a blessing in life it's the Super Bowl is in Tampa," the source said. "It's not peak convention season. That building doesn't have anything going on. [You] can't do that in New York City. Look at New Orleans even."
New Orleans has been awarded Super Bowl LVIII for February 2024, but a 17-game regular season would theoretically push the Super Bowl a week later into February, which would coincide with Mardi Gras. Contingencies like hosting a Super Bowl in a later year are still being considered.