NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that the NFL is inviting approximately 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to Super Bowl LV as guests of the NFL to thank and honor them for their continued extraordinary service during the pandemic.
The majority of these health care workers -- all of whom will have received both doses of the vaccine -- will come from hospitals and health care systems in the Tampa and central Florida area. They will receive free Super Bowl tickets and gameday experiences directly from the NFL. All 32 NFL clubs will select vaccinated health care workers from their communities to attend the Super Bowl in Tampa Bay on Sunday, Feb 7.
The NFL will also recognize health care heroes around the country through a variety of special moments both in the stadium and during the CBS broadcast.
"These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude," said Goodell. "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."
There will also be 14,500 additional fans in attendance at Raymond James Stadium.
Today's announcement follows discussions with public health officials, including the CDC, the Florida Department of Health, and area hospitals and health care systems. These officials reviewed and provided feedback on the NFL's comprehensive plans that will enable the league to host fans and the vaccinated health care workers in a safe and responsible way.
Super Bowl plans enhance the already rigorous COVID-19 protocols implemented by NFL clubs that hosted more than 1.2 million fans at 116 games throughout the regular season and playoffs. These protocols include mandatory mask-wearing, social-distancing, and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes podded seating, touchless in-stadium experiences at concessions, restrooms, and security checkpoints, as well as controlled entry and egress.
"Florida is proud to host Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to crown the champion of an unprecedented NFL season. On behalf of Floridians and football fans across the nation, I'd like to thank the many men and women who worked hard to make this game a reality, especially our frontline health care workers who have worked tirelessly over the past year to keep people safe. I look forward to the positive impact this game will have on the Tampa Bay area, and my family and I can't wait for the big game!" – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
"We are grateful for the leadership the NFL has shown in thanking our health care workers and promoting vaccine acceptance around Super Bowl LV. I applaud them for making safety their top priority, and for taking a thoughtful approach to make sure that the Super Bowl will be a safe and meaningful experience for fans and the Tampa Bay community." – State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees
"I cannot think of a greater stage than Super Bowl LV to honor our healthcare professionals. On behalf of Tampa Bay, I thank the NFL for their commitment to recognize our local heroes for their tireless efforts and dedication to help us get through this pandemic." – Ken Hagan, Hillsborough County Commissioner
"Our local healthcare workers have worked around the clock to ensure the health and safety of our community and I cannot think of a better way to honor them than with the eyes of the world on our hometown for Super Bowl LV. Our country has endured so much over the last year and we can't lose sight of those who worked day in and day out to keep us safe. Thank you to the NFL for helping make this happen." – Mayor Jane Castor, City of Tampa
"While this was already shaping up to be the most meaningful Super Bowl in our hometown's history, the NFL deciding to welcome and honor our local vaccinated healthcare workers to Super Bowl LV takes the importance of the event to an all new level. The unsolicited outpouring of appreciation that we've received in support of this initiative from our local healthcare workers across the community has been truly amazing. These heroes inspire us every day, so we couldn't be more thankful to the NFL for working to safely create this monumental effort to celebrate them." – Derrick Brooks and Will Weatherford, Co-Chairs, Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV Host Committee
"We applaud the NFL for honoring health care workers and promoting vaccine acceptance around Super Bowl LV. We are pleased to support their planning efforts to create a safe and enjoyable event for all attendees, and we look forward to a successful Super Bowl in Tampa Bay." – John Couris, President and CEO, Tampa General Hospital