Big changes are coming for the 2021 NFL season and Super Bowl LVI could soon be rescheduled as the National Football League shakes things up.
The NFL is expected to announce a 17-game schedule this week, with the creation of a Week 18 so all 32 teams play 17 games. It’s a move that owners have been wanting to make for years, but they only now have the authority to implement thanks to the new collective-bargaining agreement.
By adding a Week 18, there will be fallout for the remainder of the NFL schedule. For one, in order to reduce some risk to player safety, the league is discussing shortening the preseason from four games to three or two.
Just as importantly, after more than a month of speculation, the NFL will likely reschedule Super Bowl LVI.
When is Super Bowl LVI?
According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, the NFL could announce as soon as this week that Super Bowl LVI will be moved from Feb. 6, 2022 to Feb. 13.
As with every Super Bowl, the league blocks out multiple weeks in a city to host its Super Bowl. Hotels and venues are booked for multiple weeks, allowing the league to have a fallback plan in the event of a necessary delay. This was in play last season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Super Bowl LVI will be hosted at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, home of the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams. As of now, President Joe Biden expects full stadium attendance amid increasing coronavirus vaccinations across the United States.
Originally, Super Bowl LV was scheduled to be played at SoFi Stadium. Due to construction delays, the league relocated it to Raymond James Stadium. It ultimately created a unique moment in NFL history, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers becoming the first team to win a Super Bowl at their home building.
A final decision regarding the date will likely be made at this week’s virtual owners meeting. While team owners and league officials plan to discuss multiple matters related to the 2021 season, significant changes to on-field rules and instant replay will likely be voted on later this offseason.