Super Bowl staying in California despite COVID-19 surge, say NFL officials

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Next month's Super Bowl will not be moved away from the Los Angeles area despite an increase in COVID-19 cases across California, the NFL has insisted.

The SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, home to both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, is set to host Super Bowl LVI on 13 February, 56 years after Los Angeles staged the first edition of the NFL's annual championship game.

A surge in COVID-19 cases across the state, and the prospect of the introduction of further health measures in response, had fuelled speculation that the Super Bowl could be moved to the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium, which had reportedly been explored as a back-up site by the NFL.

However, at a media event held at the stadium exactly a month before the conclusion of the NFL season, both the NFL and the Super Bowl's organisers were quick to quell fears that such a move was in the offing.

"All of our plans for Super Bowl week remain fully in place for a month from today," said the NFL's senior director of event operations Katie Keenan.

"We're working along with everyone here, and with the L.A. County Health Department, to make sure all of our events are being held safely."

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