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TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 13: A general view of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing against the Minnesota Vikings at Raymond James Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

The NFL announced on Friday that Super Bowl LV will allow 22,000 fans to attend the game at Raymond James Stadium. That group will include approx. 7,500 healthcare workers who had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As explained in a press release, the majority of the healthcare workers at the Super Bowl will come from the Tampa area. But all 32 NFL clubs will be able to invite workers from their area. There’s plenty to choose from in New England.

Raymond James Stadium is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have a chance to become the first team to host a Super Bowl in its home arena on the strength of Tom Brady’s latest deep playoff run.

The NFL’s move to allow 22,000 fans into the Super Bowl came after consultations with the CDC, the Florida Department of Health, and various healthcare networks around the Sunshine State.

Raymond James Stadium in Tampa will be the site of Super Bowl LV, which will allow 22,000 fans into the game. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Raymond James Stadium in Tampa will be the site of Super Bowl LV, which will allow 22,000 fans into the game. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

This news underscores the question that Ty Anderson and I posed on the newest SideLines podcast: Why can’t Boston allow at least a small amount of Bruins and Celtics fans into TD Garden for games? If other cities can figure out, New England can come up with a solution. Where’s the concrete evidence that keeping sports arenas empty has done anything substantial to slow the spread of COVID-19? There has to be a way to safely and responsibly allow the Garden to hold a modest crowd of spectators.

MORE: Fenway Park to be used as mass-vaccination site

City planning is certainly not our realm of expertise. But we continue to look at other parts of the country that have figured it out. The Super Bowl was inevitably going to figure something out. It’s time for Boston to figure it out. Let’s go.

Anyway, you can hear our expanded thoughts on COVID and empty arenas from the top in the below podcast.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.