The NFL is “committed to doing our part to ensure that vaccines are as widely accessible in our community as possible,” Goodell wrote Biden. To that end, each team “will make its stadium available for mass vaccinations of the general public in coordination with local, state, and federal health officials,” he said.
Goodell noted that vaccine operations could be set up swiftly “because many of our clubs have offered their facilities previously as COVID testing centers, as well as election sites over the past several months.”
The NFL has 32 teams, but only 30 stadiums because teams share sites in New York and Los Angeles.
Other sports teams, including Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, have also offered their facilities for vaccination sites. Anti-vaxxer protesters temporarily shut down a vaccination operation at Dodger Stadium last week.
Vaccines are already being provided at the NFL stadiums of the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.
The NFL is providing free tickets to 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to Sunday’s Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida, between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs “in gratitude form their heroic service and to highlight the importance of vaccinations,” Goodell noted in his letter to Biden.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday warned Super Bowl fans not to get together with friends to watch the game.
“Every time we have something like this, there always is a spike” in COVID-19 cases, warned Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“Enjoy the game, watch it on television, but do it with the immediate members of your family, the people in your household,” he said. “As much fun as it is to get together in a big Super Bowl party, now is not the time to do that.”