Though it hasn't hosted a Super Bowl since 2011, AT&T Stadium in Arlington is reportedly on the list of contingency sites for Super Bowl LVI should the game not be able to be played in Los Angeles, NBC 5 has learned.
The NFL considering alternative sites is not unusual because the league does so every year. But with Los Angeles being the site for this year's title game, and restrictions increasing for attendance at indoor events, contingency sites have become more noteworthy.
An NFL source confirmed to NBC 5 Wednesday that the Dallas Cowboys were contacted about possibly hosting the game should SoFi Stadium suddenly become unavailable.
Arlington Mayor Jim Ross told NBC 5 the city has not been contacted by the Cowboys or NFL about contingency plans for this year, but that they are ready to support the NFL's continuity of operations if needed.
President and CEO of Downtown Arlington Maggie Campbell said its businesses would be ready, too.
"Can our businesses be ready to host on short notice? Absolutely. Our biggest challenge is staffing. And we know that’s impacting all industries, so I think people would expect the same kind of experience that they have at home. But I think all of our businesses would step up and be ready to host people that were here for that event," said Campbell.
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At 4 Kahunas Tiki lounge, owner J.P. Hunter said business has already been strong thanks to a successful Cowboys season.
Still, he said moving the game to Texas could help local businesses further recover from the pandemic.
“Obviously it would be a huge boom to our business. But frankly speaking, there would be deeper ramifications such as increased tax revenue for the city and other things and the surrounding areas," said Hunter.
In an official statement, the league said they plan on playing Super Bowl LVI at SoFi on Feb. 13 and that it's common to develop contingency plans for games.
"As part of our standard contingency planning process that we conduct for all regular and postseason games, we have contacted several clubs to inquire about stadium availability in the event we cannot play the Super Bowl as scheduled due to weather-related issues or unforeseen circumstances," said Brian McCarthy, in a statement to NBC 5. "Our planning process for the Super Bowl in Los Angeles is ahead of schedule and we look forward to hosting the Super Bowl there to culminate another fantastic NFL season for our fans and clubs."
The league did not say what other stadiums are considered as alternative sites for the Super Bowl.
While there is no indication the game will not be played at Los Angeles' 70,000-seat indoor stadium, a number of other high-profile events in Southern California have been recently rescheduled or scaled back due to the ongoing pandemic and recent surge in omicron cases of coronavirus including the Grammy Awards and Golden Globes.
In January 2021, the annual Rose Bowl game was moved from Pasadena, California to Arlington's AT&T Stadium.
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