It’s impossible for many of us to show just how grateful we are to the health care workers who’ve worked tirelessly throughout the entire coronavirus pandemic. But the NFL has come up with a pretty cool gesture of appreciation — thousands of free tickets to the Super Bowl.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that 7,500 vaccinated health care workers will be invited to the annual championship game as part of an all-expense-paid trip to Tampa, Florida, as a thank you for their service during the pandemic.
“These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” Goodell said in a news release. “This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings.”
All of the health care workers invited to the big game will have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the league. Most work at health care facilities in Tampa and central Florida, but each of the 32 NFL clubs will choose four workers from their own communities to receive tickets as well.
The NFL said it planned for the game with the assistance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health to ensure fans and health care workers can attend the event “in a safe and responsible way.” Safety protocols include mandatory masks, social distancing and touchless products in all bathrooms and at in-stadium concessions.
“We are grateful for the leadership the NFL has shown in thanking our health care workers and promoting vaccine acceptance around Super Bowl LV,” said Florida’s State Surgeon General, Dr. Scott Rivkees, in the press release. “I applaud them for making safety their top priority, and for taking a thoughtful approach to make sure that the Super Bowl will be a safe and meaningful experience for fans and the Tampa Bay community.”
Super Bowl LV will take place Feb. 7 at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium and air on CBS.