NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that the NFL is inviting 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers to Super Bowl LV as guests of the NFL to “thank and honor them for their continued extraordinary service during the pandemic,” according to an NFL statement. “This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings.”
Super Bowl LV will take place in Tampa Bay on Sunday, Feb. 7, and most healthcare workers will come from hospitals and healthcare systems in the Tampa and central Florida area, the statement says.
“These dedicated healthcare workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” said Goodell in a letter to Rob Higgins, president of the Tampa Super Bowl Host Committee. “We hope that in a small way, this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes.” The letter was shared in a tweet by Ian Rappaport, NFL Network insider and host of the “RapSheet and Friends” podcast.
“We applaud the NFL for honoring health care workers and promoting vaccine acceptance around Super Bowl LV. We are pleased to support their planning efforts to create a safe and enjoyable event for all attendees, and we look forward to a successful Super Bowl in Tampa Bay,” John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital, said in a statement.
In addition to the healthcare workers, there will be 14,500 fans in attendance at Raymond James Stadium. To that end, the NFL says that Super Bowl plans will enhance the “already rigorous COVID-19 protocols” implemented by NFL clubs throughout the regular season and playoffs. These protocols include mandatory mask wearing, social distancing and other measures, such as podded seating and touchless concessions, restrooms and security checkpoints, as well as controlled entry and exit.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Super Bowl Gives Free Tickets to 7,500 Vaccinated Healthcare Workers