NFL-Super Bowl seating will be cut due to COVID-19 -report

Oct 28 (Reuters) - The National Football League is planning to restrict Super Bowl seating to just 20% at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium over COVID-19 health and safety concerns, ESPN reported on Wednesday.

Raymond James Stadium, which was expected have a capacity crowd of close to 75,000 for the Feb. 7 NFL championship game, would instead host between 13,000 to 15,000 fans, making one of the hardest tickets in sport to come by even tougher to find.

The ESPN report said spectators would have to wear masks and sit in pods six feet (1.83 m) apart.

The NFL did not respond to a request for comment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created havoc with the NFL calendar with positive cases forcing a shuffling of the schedule and leaving open the possibility of adding an 18th week of games to the regular season.

The United States has had a surge in COVID-29 cases recently with the death toll reaching more than 227,000 Americans. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Bill Berkrot)