Super Bowl in Los Angeles on schedule as NFL taps other venues

·2-min read
The NFL says it is focused on staging the Super Bowl at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles next month following a report hinting the game could be moved due to Covid-19 (AFP/Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

The NFL said Wednesday that next month's Super Bowl will take place in Los Angeles as scheduled but confirmed the league had inquired about the availability of alternative venues as part of standard contingency planning.

A report by Dallas-area television station WFAA earlier Wednesday said the NFL had contacted the Dallas Cowboys to see if the team's AT&T Stadium could stage the February 13 showpiece if needed.

The report cited an unidentified Cowboys management source as saying the move had been prompted by concern that possible Covid-19 restrictions in California could create problems to host the game at the Los Angeles Rams' and Los Angeles Chargers' SoFi Stadium.

However in a statement to AFP, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league remained focused on staging the game in Los Angeles as planned.

"We plan on playing Super Bowl LVI as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13," McCarthy said.

"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."

In a separate development on Wednesday, the music industry's Grammy Awards ceremony, due to take place in Los Angeles on January 31, was being postponed due to the "uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant" of Covid-19.

The variant has sent cases of Covid-19 skyrocketing across the United States in recent weeks, with infections in the Los Angeles area soaring.

Los Angeles County reported nearly 45,000 new cases over Saturday and Sunday, which followed a daily record high of 27,091 new infections on Friday. A further 21,790 cases were also confirmed on Tuesday.

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