TAMPA, Fla. – When Super Bowl 55 kicks off on Sunday, it will mark the NFL’s celebration of a season that many thought was impossible amid a global pandemic.
However, the NFL also intends to use its biggest stage to thank vaccinated frontline health workers from the Tampa area and across the country.
The league and its 32 teams are treating 7,500 healthcare workers with a Super Bowl weekend that includes tickets to the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as a pregame concert by Miley Cyrus. Approximately 6,500 of the healthcare workers in attendance are from hospitals and health systems in the Tampa and central Florida area. The remaining 1,000 are medical professionals from each of the NFL’s 31 other markets.
“We always wanted to find a way to say thank you,” Jon Barker, director of live event production and operations for the NFL, told USA TODAY Sports. “… We owe them so much gratitude and wanted to make sure we found a suitable way to do a few things.
“First, to say thank you for everything they have done and all that they will continue to do for us, and second, to find a way to demonstrate the benefits of the vaccine and promote the use of vaccination. And three to find a way to show good things. ” social behavior and adherence to wearing masks, and I couldn’t imagine a bigger stage seen every year, namely the Super Bowl. “
The project was near home for Barker.
“I am the son of the nurse who worked on the floor of Lehigh Valley Medical Hospital Center for 32 years and was a huge fan of Giants, and I know she would never have been able to make the Super Bowl,” he said . “It’s exciting for all of us to do that.”
The overall valuation of tickets for the 7,500 healthcare workers is $ 18.75 million, according to the NFL. Raymond James Stadium will have limited capacity on Sunday to ensure proper social distancing. A further 14,500 fans round off the total number of tickets, while 2,700 will be watching from the suites.
The NFL will highlight the health care heroes in a number of ways, Barker said. The medical guests receive white KN95 masks with the Super Bowl 55 logo and a special “Healthcare Heroes” emblem. You will stand out from the other fans and staff who will be wearing black KN95 masks.
For Barker, planning and executing frontline staff recognition was almost as exciting as building the Super Bowl.
“It was emotional,” he said. “With the amount of thank you that we have received, we always end the conversation because the thank you has to go in the other direction. …
“Yes, we have limited capacity and yes, there will only be 25,000 fans in the stadium, and of those 25,000, 7,500 will be healthcare workers,” Barker continued. “But I guarantee you this stadium will sound loud.”
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