KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There might be only a third of normal fan capacity and more precautions, but crews preparing for Super Bowl LV say the show must go on.
“[It’s] lots of work that we have to do,” said Eric Finkelstein, the NFL’s director of event operations, “from décor installation to temporary booths that we are building out.”
All of these components will ensure Raymond James Stadium is in prime shape to take host the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their fans on Feb. 7.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of surprises that you will see, you know, what the Super Bowl looks like,” said Jon Barker, NFL Live Event Production Head. “Now it’s all about taking what’s usually on this field and putting it all somewhere else.”
The field will include features like brand new grass and cameras placed around the stadium just for the fans.
The legendary George Toma, a Kansas City native and longtime groundskeeper, has worked every Super Bowl and won’t miss this one. He said although things look different for the game, for him, it’s all about the work. He said crews spend sometimes 14 hours a day on the field.
Toma said although setup is just one part of the game, it’s all about the players in the end.
“They asked me if the Chiefs made it to the Super Bowl, could they win,” Toma said. “I said with Mahomes and Kelce, they can pull anything off.”
Organizers said this is a Super Bowl like they’ve never seen before, but they have to keep moving to make it to the big game.
“We will continue to drive forward,” Finkelstein said. “[We are] feeling good with where we are.”