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NFL says inquiry into AT&T Stadium as backup plan for Super Bowl at SoFi is standard practice

Is the league preparing to move Super Bowl LVI away from Los Angeles because of COVID-19 restrictions?

NFL: New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams would love to be the second team in as many years to play in the Super Bowl at their home stadium, but getting through the NFC gauntlet in the postseason may only be one hurdle that the franchise must overcome to get there. The other would be if the NFL decides that playing Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium can’t happen and that they need to move the game elsewhere. Like, say, Arlington, Texas.

The NFL has confirmed through spokesman Brian McCarthy to WFAA in Dallas that the league has inquired into the availability of AT&T Stadium for that same date to host the Super Bowl. The home of the Dallas Cowboys. Though speculation has been made that the NFL is preparing to move the Super Bowl because of potential COVID restrictions in California, McCarthy says that the league makes these inquiries every year as a contingency plan.

“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.”

WFAA reported that a source with the City of Arlington confirmed to them that city officials reached out to the NFL in mid-December during a spike in COVID cases to offer their services for the Super Bowl, in case they were needed.

Last year, the NFL had a number of contingency plans in place because of the pandemic, including potentially moving the game back as far as February 28th. That did not come to fruition and perhaps this one will not either, but backups exist for a reason. Will the Rams, the Chargers, or any team get the chance to play in SoFi Stadium for this year’s Super Bowl?

This would not be the first time that an LA Super Bowl was moved—last year’s Super Bowl was originally set to be at SoFi Stadium, but in 2017 it was moved to Tampa Bay because of construction delays.