Wednesday, January 19, 2022

NFL 2022 Super Bowl: Cowboys home stadium labeled as possible alternate for the big game

It’s no secret that Jerry Jones would love to host another Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys owner having already put in his bid to land another as soon as possible. There’s a slim chance he gets his wish as early as 2022, with the NFL having reached out to Jones to determine if AT&T Stadium and the surrounding city of Arlington, Texas would be available to serve as an alternate site to the originally planned host for Super Bowl LVI — SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles — per Mike Leslie of WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas.

As it stands, this year’s Super Bowl is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 13 and neither the date nor location have been moved, and it sounds as if the league’s front office is simply doing its due diligence in the wake of the latest spike in ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

So while the City of Arlington — which reportedly reached out to the NFL proactively in December to be made an alternate — and Jones have given the NFL the green light to descend upon North Texas if necessary, the league wants to make it clear they’re not planning a change, but instead preparing for the possibility they might need one.

And Jones wasn’t the only owner they contacted.

“We plan on playing Super Bowl LVI as scheduled at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13,” said NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy. “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.”

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AT&T Stadium is a multi-billion dollar facility that, at capacity, can house more than 100,000 fans.

Jones is also beating the drum to have the Cowboys facilities used for an upcoming NFL Combine sooner than later, hoping to use the luxurious amenities and facilities as a means of wooing the league. It seems inevitable he’ll get his wish for both the Combine and another Super Bowl in the future — having hosted the latter just over a decade ago in 2011 — but neither will occur in 2022. That is, of course, something goes wildly wrong with the ability to host the biggest even in sports at the newly-built SoFi Stadium (e.g., COVID).

For now, the only way for the Cowboys to be involved with Super Bowl LVI is for them to make a deep postseason run. However, if they accomplish that goal and the Super Bowl moves to AT&T Stadium, it’ll mark only the second time in NFL history that a stadium hosting the game was also home to one of its participants; just one year after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers achieved the feat.

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