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The National Football League on Friday announced that it would give 7,500 health care workers free tickets to Super Bowl LV.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the gesture was being made in an effort to thank the health care workers for all that they have done during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” 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.”
In addition to the 7,500 guests, the league will also recognize health care workers around the country through a variety of special moments both in the stadium and during the CBS Super Bowl broadcast, according to the NFL.
The majority of the 7,500 health care workers — which the league noted have had both doses of the vaccine — will come from hospitals and health care systems in the Tampa and Central Florida area, as the Super Bowl is being held in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
In addition to the 7,500 health care workers, 14,500 fans will be in attendance at the big game. According to the league, “the Center of Disease Control, the Florida Department of Health and area hospitals and health care systems “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.”
A number of teams during the regular season allowed a smaller number of fans into the stands for games. Protocols, which will be extended to the Super Bowl, included mandatory mask-wearing; social-distancing; podded seating; touchless in-stadium experiences at concessions, restrooms, and security checkpoints; and controlled entry and egress.
“We applaud the NFL for honoring health care workers and promoting vaccine acceptance around Super Bowl LV,” John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital said in a statement. “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.”
Super Bowl LV will be played Feb. 7.
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