While many U.S. professional football games this season have been played in empty stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic, the February 7 Super Bowl will be played in front of 25,000 fans. It will be the lowest attended National Football League championship game of all time.
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, where the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has a capacity of 65,890, so the empty seats will be filled with as many as 30,000 cardboard cutouts of fans.
According to the NFL, all fans in attendance will be given personal protective equipment (PPE) kits. The league said that it was giving 7,500 vaccinated health care workers free tickets to the game. Everyone in attendance will be required to wear face coverings.
Until this year’s game, the lowest attended Super Bowl was the first one, where nearly 62,000 fans in the Los Angeles Coliseum watched the Green Bay Packers defeat the Chiefs 35-10 in 1967. There were 35,000 empty seats.
The 1980 Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers remains the most attended game with 103,985 fans watching in the Rose Bowl. Pittsburgh won the game 31-19.