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Sport: Super Bowl expected to be held at full capacity, Los Angeles County officials say

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LOS ANGELES — The NFL, not surprisingly in the midst of a rise in COVID-19 cases, has looked into other potential sites for next month’s Super Bowl . That’s not unusual because the league does so every year. But with Los Angeles the site for this year’s title game, and restrictions increasing for “I know L . A . County is closely in contact with the NFL to make sure that strategies are put in place to ensure that people can enjoy this important event while making sure that we put things in place that allow COVID mitigation to be an important feature of the approach to that game that is just over a

Our planning process for the Super Bowl in Los Angeles is ahead of schedule and we look forward to hosting the Super Bowl there to culminate another fantastic NFL season for our fans and clubs.” WFAA says the City of Arlington “proactively” contacted the NFL and offered AT&T Stadium — which last hosted the Super Bowl in early 2011, when the Packers defeated the Steelers — as a destination if Los Angeles became un-feasible. Right now, Los Angeles County does not have COVID-19 restrictions which would preclude the Super Bowl from being played in a full stadium.

The NFL likely won’t need to resort to having cardboard cutouts at next month’s Super Bowl to make the stands look full.

Los Angeles County at this time doesn’t expect to restrict attendance at sporting events even with COVID-19 infection rates rising in the area and around the country amid the Omicron variant outbreak.

“We are working closely with the NFL to welcome the Super Bowl to L.A. County,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Thursday told Yahoo Sports. “And while we cannot provide certainty for the future, we do not anticipate capacity limits at sporting events.”

L.A. County’s pledge not to revert to stricter early pandemic restrictions comes the day after a report that the NFL is exploring contingency sites if SoFi Stadium is unable to host the Super Bowl as scheduled. AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, is one of the facilities that was contacted, WFAA reported Wednesday.

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Los Angeles County has in the past instituted some of the strictest public health policies in the nation to combat the pandemic. Last January, this prompted college football's Rose Bowl to be moved from Pasadena to Arlington, Texas, although this year's Rose Bowl was in Pasadena as usual. "We plan on playing Super Bowl LVI as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Reuters. "As part of our standard contingency planning process that we conduct for all regular and postseason games, we have contacted several clubs to inquire about

The Los Angeles area has not hosted a Super Bowl since the 1993 game was played at the Rose Bowl . But, according to WFAA, Arlington city officials reached out to the NFL in mid-December to volunteer the venue, which happens to be vacant on Feb. 13, just in case. Anyone else ready to take this personally? The Dodgers – who, we might remind you, lost out on the 2020 All-Star Game because of COVID and are scheduled to hold the 2022 game instead – won their only World Series in the last 33 years by beating Tampa Bay in the Rangers’ stadium in Arlington, in October of 2020.

While the NFL subsequently clarified that it still plans to hold the Super Bowl in Los Angeles and that it identifies potential backup venues every year, the search for emergency options attracted more attention this year because of the disparity in how states have responded to the pandemic. Not only has California implemented tougher COVID-19 protocols than many other states, Los Angeles County has frequently taken an even stricter stance by adding on further restrictions.

L.A. County health officials expect Sofi Stadium to be at full capacity, 70,000-plus, for next month's Super Bowl. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports L.A. County health officials expect Sofi Stadium to be at full capacity, 70,000-plus, for next month's Super Bowl. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, California announced that it is extending its indoor mask mandate until at least Feb. 15, two days after the Super Bowl. Los Angeles County already required everyone 2 years of age and older to wear a mask at outdoor events with more than 10,000 attendees.

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California officials said Wednesday they expect Los Angeles to host the Super Bowl as planned, despite rising coronavirus cases in the area. “The Super Bowl is coming to LA , I think Californians are excited to see that event take place,” said California’s health and human secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, to “We are and will continue to be concerned about our hospitals,” Ghaly said . That could complicate the holding of the Super Bowl , a massive undertaking that typically includes several events leading up to the primetime center. A Texas ABC affiliate reported Wednesday that the National Football League

“Our planning process for the Super Bowl in Los Angeles is ahead of schedule and we look forward to hosting the Super Bowl there to culminate another fantastic NFL season for our fans and clubs.” “I know L . A . County is closely in contact with the NFL to make sure that strategies are put in place to ensure that people can enjoy this important event while making sure that we put things in place that allow COVID mitigation to be an important feature of the approach to that game that is just over a month away,” Ghaly said .

Although the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers have played all season at SoFi Stadium in front of capacity crowds, both teams have taken extra precautions as a result of the recent spike in infections. Since Dec. 15, fans 5 years and older must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to gain entry to the stadium.

Los Angeles has not hosted a Super Bowl since 1993. The NFL awarded the Super Bowl to SoFi Stadium in 2016 before construction crews even broke ground on the glittering $5 billion venue.

Earlier this week, Yahoo Sports asked the California Department of Public Health how much worse the Omicron outbreak would have to get in order to trigger stricter COVID-19 restrictions. The CDPH did not directly respond, but in his news briefing on Wednesday, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly made it clear the state is committed to hosting the Super Bowl in Los Angeles.

“The Super Bowl is coming to L.A., and I think Californians are excited to see that event occur,” Ghaly said. “The work is to be sure that, as it is moving forward as planned, the mitigation strategies that create safety around that event are in place.”

College football bowl cancellations: Updated list of games canceled by COVID-19 for 2021-22 .
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