The NFL will host about 22,000 fans at Super Bowl LV, according to a series of plans announced Friday morning. That total includes free tickets for 7,500 vaccinated health care workers, along with 14,500 in paid attendance.
Those numbers mean the league will fill Tampa's Raymond James Stadium to roughly a third of its normal capacity of 65,000. All fans will be subject to the NFL's regular-season stadium protocols, which include mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing through seating pods. During the regular season, the NFL hosted about 1.2 million fans in 116 games where local regulations allowed for attendance at sporting events.
The league said it developed its Super Bowl plan in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control, the Florida Department of Health, and area hospitals and health care systems. All of the invited health care workers will have received both vaccination doses, and most will come from the Tampa and central Florida areas. The remainder will be selected and sent from local communities of every NFL team.
"These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "We hope in a small way that this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes. This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings."