“The safety of the public, attendees, players and personnel continues to be our foremost priority,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a written statement to The Washington Post. “We are working on a host of Super Bowl plans, include gameday, in conjunction with the host committee and the appropriate local and county public health and government officials. 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 February 7.”
The NFL has made attendance decisions during the regular season on a team-by-team basis, based on the applicable state and local health guidelines. All fans at NFL games this season are required to wear masks, the league has said, and teams with fans have utilized distancing measures. The rows of seating closest to the field at each NFL stadium have been closed, under a leaguewide directive.
“There have been 19 teams that have already or have been authorized by public authorities to host regular season games,” McCarthy said in Wednesday’s statement. “The average has been around 20 percent with fans seated in pods and everyone wearing face coverings. Among the scenarios we are exploring [for the Super Bowl] is a capacity of around that figure but we anticipate it could grow as we get closer to the game.”
League officials previously have said that an 18th week could be added to the regular season if all games cannot be played within the 17-week framework. But a Week 18 could be added without the Super Bowl being delayed, given that the off week between the two conference championship games and the Super Bowl could be eliminated.