The NFL is clearly keeping its options open.
Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the nation, the National Football League is looking into the availability of venues outside of California, including AT&T Stadium, which is the home of the Dallas Cowboys, according to Jason Whitely of WFAA.
Super Bowl LVI is currently scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 13, at the brand new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, just outside of Los Angeles.
According to the report, a Dallas Cowboys front office source told WFAA that the team and league have “engaged in preliminary discussions about AT&T Stadiums Erving as an emergency site for the 2022 Super Bowl should possible COVID restrictions in California create problems with playing the game in Southern California.”
In response to the report, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told WFAA that the NFL is “indeed looking into backup venues” for Super Bowl LIV:
“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.”
AT&T Stadium last hosted the Super Bowl in 2011, when the Packers and Steelers met in Super Bowl XLV. In all, 103,219 fans attended that game — a figure just shy of an all-time Super Bowl record.
This wouldn’t be the first time a sporting event moved from California to Texas. Last year, the 2021 Rose Bowl was played AT&T Stadium after it had to be moved from its traditional site in Pasadena, California due to COVID-19 restrictions.