The 2020 NFL season has been hit hard by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That has included multiple outbreaks of the virus throughout the league and a whole host of schedule changes. This could impact the NFL calendar moving forward, including Super Bowl LV, originally slated for early February.
We now have some more information on this. As a last resort, the NFL is fully prepared to postpone the upcoming Super Bowl in Tampa Bay.
NFL rumors: League could push the Super Bowl to March
“We could move the Super Bowl back as far as four weeks,” Packers CEO and president Mark Murphy said recently, via CBS Sports (h/t Sports Business Daily). “Obviously, we’d prefer not to do that, but you do have that flexibility if we run into a number of outbreaks with different teams or if we have to kind of move the schedule back.”
There’s certainly a lot to look at here from a scheduling perspective. The NFL has already canceled this season’s Pro Bowl. That would enable the league to add a Week 18 to the regular season for make-up games while still being able to play the Super Bowl on time.
Even then, there might be some benefit to pushing the Super Bowl back. Primarily, as the sport world’s biggest annual event, the Super Bowl brings in a ton of revenue with fans attending the big game. At this point, it seems to be highly unlikely that Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay will be at full capacity Feb. 7. Would four weeks change that? Possibly.
These represent the complexities with attempting to play a full NFL season amid a growing pandemic in the United States. Over half of the teams in the league have been able to host fans this season. However, none of them have been at more than 20% capacity. The Super Bowl being able to host fans at that level would be a major revenue shortfall for the NFL.