The coronavirus pandemic hasn't halted the NFL's plans to host a Super Bowl -- yet. NFL Executive Vice President Peter O'Reilly told the Tampa Bay Times the league still plans to host Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa as planned, with fans, but the league also admitted those plans could change.
"We're very confident in our protocols and are very focused on a Super Bowl and a season that ends on Feb. 7 and starts and ends as scheduled," O'Reilly said. "(We're) laser focused on Feb. 7."
COVID-19 has already halted the Big-10 and Pac-12 college football seasons as that season remains in jeopardy. The NFL, meanwhile, still plans on opening on September 10 with a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans -- albeit without fans. A few teams have decided to open the season without fans, some even don't plan to have fans for the entire season (New York Giants, New York Jets, and Las Vegas Raiders are the three most notable ones). The league does have time on their side with fan attendance for Super Bowl LV, which is just under six months away.
"If there needs to be adjustments, we'll be ready to make them," said Rob Higgins, chairman of the host committee. "At this point in time, there haven't been any adjustments. We just continue to plan. And through our great partnership with the NFL, we'll continue to stay joined at the hip with them and be ready to be as nimble as we need to be."
Tampa has hosted five Super Bowls to date, the last one being in 2009. Of course, the nation faced separate crisis the past two times the city hosted Super Bowls -- the first in 1991 during the Gulf War and the second during the economic recession of 2009. This crisis is, obviously, a bit different is it impacts the health of many Americans.
Whether the league will have fans for the Super Bowl is still up in the air, but the league as no plans to move the game from Tampa. As of now, it's business as usual for the league.
Super Bowl LV will be televised on CBS on Feb. 7.