Health care workers in the Cincinnati area may be heading to the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Jan. 22 that the NFL would welcome approximately 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to the championship game in appreciation for their work during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the NFL says that the majority of invitees will hail from Tampa and Central Florida, but all 32 teams — including the Cincinnati Bengals — will select health care workers from their own regions to attend.
“These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” Goodell says in a statement. “We hope in a small way that this initiative will inspire our country and recognize these true American heroes. This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings.”
Approximately 14,500 fans will join the health heroes at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa as the Kansas City Chiefs (14-2 in the 2020 regular season) visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5). The NFL’s statement notes that it has held discussions with “public health officials, including the CDC, the Florida Department of Health, and area hospitals and health care systems” regarding COVID-19 safety precautions during the game.
Pop superstar Miley Cyrus announced on Jan. 24 via Instagram that she will perform for the health care workers as part of the “TikTok Tailgate” before the game. “I’ll be there for TIKTOK TAILGATE!!!” the former Disney Channel star posted.
The Cincinnati Bengals went 4-11-1 in the 2020 regular season. The team competed in the Super Bowl in 1982 and 1989, losing both times.
Super Bowl LV takes place on Sunday, Feb. 7, with kickoff at 6:30 p.m.