The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs are facing off Sunday in the National Football League’s Super Bowl — one of the most watched television events in the United States.
The game itself is taking place in Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium. The normal fan frenzy in the host city the week before the Super Bowl was absent this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NFL has said it will permit 25,000 fans into the stadium that normally holds more than 65,000. The empty seats will be filled by 30,000 cardboard cutouts of fans. It will be the lowest attended NFL championship game in history.
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.
The Super Bowl halftime show will feature a performance from The Weeknd.
For those watching at home, U.S. health officials have warned against hosting large Super Bowl parties. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said small and large gatherings can increase the risk of spreading COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Tampa Bay is first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium since the event began in 1967.
The Buccaneers are led by 43-year-old quarterback Tom Brady, who is in his first year with the team after a hall-of-fame career with the New England Patriots. Tampa Bay advanced by beating the Green Bay Packers 31-26 in the National Football Conference championship game late last month.
On the other side of the field will be 25-year-old quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who last year was named the most valuable player as he led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl win. He will be trying to become the first quarterback to win two consecutive Super Bowls since Brady did so with the Patriots nearly 20 years ago.
Kansas City earned its Super Bowl berth with a 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills.
The game could be a high-scoring affair. It features the top offense in the league this year in the Chiefs, with the Buccaneers ranking seventh.