The Super Bowl is coming to Tampa Bay

Should this be exciting news to Tampa citizens or something to be dreaded?


Photo AHeneen

Fans gather at Raymond James Stadium to watch a game in this pre-COVID shot.

Pim Kruthun, Staff Writer

2021 is a year with many things to look forward to, especially the Super Bowl, which is set to kick off on Feb. 7. More importantly, it’s being hosted at Raymond James Stadium this year. Should this be exciting news to Tampa citizens or something to be dreaded?

Each year, the Super Bowl is traditionally watched by many families. The enjoyment of sports has brought some positive outcomes in the past but with the pandemic this year, public health is the main concern. Florida has been a COVID-19 hotspot since the start and hasn’t recovered since. As of Jan. 3, 10,000 cases were added to Florida in just one day. 2,000 of those were from Tampa, with the state average of 125 deaths per day.

Tampa Bay residents, like Army veteran John McFarland, fear the tourist gathering for the Super Bowl will worsen the situation for the city.

“[With] the numbers of COVID-19 cases here and the large elderly population, I think the Super Bowl is one of the last things Tampa, Hillsborough County, or Florida needs at this time,” McFarland said. “Our local economy could certainly use the cash infusion but two to three weeks later the potential spike in COVID-19 cases would further cripple our economy.”

Some, such as Robinson Alumnus and football fan Joe Chesser, disagree, citing Tampa’s goal to maintain a safe environment for the event.

“…I think Tampa will do an excellent job of hosting the Super Bowl. Our Mayor has been very vocal about citizens taking personal responsibility to keep ourselves and those around us safe. As long as the NFL controls what happens inside the stadium and not put our local law enforcement in a position of criminalizing stupid or selfish behavior everything should be fine,” Chesser said. “The people visiting and the businesses in dire need of customers could be a problem, but as long people take the personal responsibility to keep us all safe it may be just the thing to prove that we can safely return to at least a minimal normal.”

Whether you agree or disagree with the two sides, the Super Bowl is due to happen. All we can do as individuals is to take more precautions in order to keep the Tampa community safe.