The NFL plans to celebrate the hard work of healthcare workers at Super Bowl LV, which is set to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The league is currently working with public health officials in hopes of having healthcare workers -- who have received the coronavirus vaccine -- in the crowd for the big game.
"We are currently discussing with public health officials our desire to invite vaccinated health care workers to the Super Bowl as our guests. Subject to their approval and in consultation with your team, we aim to do this in a safe and responsible way."
Healthcare workers have put their lives on hold and in jeopardy during the coronavirus pandemic, and the league hopes to highlight their sacrifices with the gesture.
"We know that over the past year, these frontline workers have put their own lives at risk to the benefit of society and we owe them our ongoing gratitude," Goodell said in his memo. " ... We hope that in some small way, this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes as we look forward to a better and healthier year."
With the 2020 playoffs right around the corner, the league still has not determined the maximum capacity for Super Bowl LV, though it is their current plan to have at least some fans in the seats for the most-watched game in the United States.
Social distancing protocols and mask mandates have been a theme at stadiums that have allowed fans to enter this year and the league is confident enough that those restrictions are working.
The NFL has worked with state and local officials on attendance matters throughout the season to ensure they are also keeping up with local guidelines. In some cases, exceptions to local restrictions have been made, like with the Week 14 Monday Night Football game between the Browns and Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium that ended past the local curfew in Cleveland but allowed fans to remain at the game until it ended.
Super Bowl LV is still on schedule to be played on Sunday, February 7 and will be broadcast on CBS.