When Las Vegas got the nod as Super Bowl host for 2024, the Dallas Cowboys thought their wait to hold another at AT&T Stadium was extended into the distant future.
The current environment in California surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic may end up saying otherwise.
According to WFAA, the NFL has started looking into the availability of venues outside of California, including AT&T Stadium, should it need a replacement venue for this year’s Super Bowl if COVID restrictions impact the Feb. 13 game scheduled at SoFi Stadium.
When asked for comment on the situation by The Dallas Morning News, the NFL provided the same statement it gave to WFAA, saying: “We plan on playing Super Bowl LVI as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13.”
The statement continued: “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. 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.”
For Dallas-Fort Worth, which has not hosted a Super Bowl since 2011, the wait will continue unless fate potentially intervenes on the West Coast in the coming weeks.
A source with the City of Arlington also told WFAA city officials proactively and independently sent a message to the NFL in mid-December stating that Arlington stands ready to step in and host the game, if necessary.
“We will always, always want a Super Bowl in our stadium,” said Stephen Jones, Cowboys chief operating officer, last month following Las Vegas being awarded the 2024 game. “It’s just they’re bringing all these new stadiums on, and you’ve got to wait your turn. You’ve got your traditional destinations like a Miami, Phoenix, LA in its own right and San Francisco. We’ll hopefully get in it at some point.”
The next four Super Bowls are all claimed.
Los Angeles will host February’s championship game. Beyond that, it will be Glendale, Arizona, in 2023, Las Vegas in 2024 and New Orleans in 2025.
New Orleans originally was scheduled to host the 2024 game, but when the league expanded the regular season from 16 to 17 games, Super Bowls were pushed one week deeper into February, creating a conflict with Mardi Gras.