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NFL plans to limit fan capacity, require masks for Super Bowl LV

Last season's Super Bowl was held Feb. 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. This year's NFL championship game is set for Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. File Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI
Last season's Super Bowl was held Feb. 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. This year's NFL championship game is set for Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. File Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Amid the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL is moving forward with a plan to limit fan capacity at Super Bowl LV this February.

In a statement released Wednesday, the league said it is planning to hold capacity to 20% at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Raymond James Stadium, which typically seats 65,000 fans. With temporary seating, the stadium's capacity could increase to almost 75,000.

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Fans in attendance will be in pods six feet apart, and masks will be required.

"The safety of the public, attendees, players and personnel continues to be our foremost priority," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement Wednesday. "We are working on a host of Super Bowl plans, including gameday, in conjunction with the host committee and the appropriate local and county public health and government officials.

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"There is no set capacity figure at this time as we continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic with more than three months to go before the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. There have been 19 teams that have already or have been authorized by public authorities to host regular-season games.

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"The average has been around 20 percent with fans seated in pods and everyone wearing face coverings. Among the scenarios we are exploring is a capacity of around that figure [of 20%] but we anticipate it could grow as we get closer to the game."

Throughout the regular season, the NFL has left attendance decisions to home teams in conjunction with local and state authorities. Half of the league's teams have had paid attendance for at least one game, including the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay has hosted an average of 10,961 fans at two home matchups in 2020.

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