With COVID-19 case rates rising across the globe, the National Football League has reportedly been making Super Bowl backup plans in case California moves to restrict event attendance once again. Arlington’s AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, would be the likely relocation site should those plans need to be put into place, according to WFAA.
Currently, Super Bowl LVI is scheduled to take place at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on February 13.
A Dallas Cowboys front office source tells WFAA that the team and league have engaged in preliminary discussions about AT&T Stadium serving as an emergency site for the 2022 Super Bowl should possible COVID restrictions in California create problems with playing the game in Southern California.
The Cowboys source told us “the league did inquire about a date if [the] stadium is available. But that’s all I’ve ever heard. They could be just covering all options just in case.”
A league spokesman confirmed that backup sites have been arranged, but indicated this as a standard procedure, rather than one driven by concern for the current situation.
“We plan on playing Super Bowl LVI as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13,” says NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. “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 stadium availability in the event we cannot play the Super Bowl as scheduled due to weather-related issues or unforeseen circumstances. 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.”
Texas has served as a relocation point for several major events during the pandemic, most notably the 2020 World Series, which took place in Arlington at Globe Life Field. AT&T Stadium was the site of the 2011 Super Bowl. The Rose Bowl was also relocated in 2021 from Pasadena, California to Dallas due to COVID restrictions.
SoFi Stadium, home to the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, is set to be the first host of the Super Bowl in the Los Angeles area since the early 1990s.