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Super Bowl Opening Night will be virtual-only in 2021

Mike Florio and Chris Simms share their best bets for Week 8, including the Chiefs covering against the Jets.

Yes, the pandemic will disappear the moment the election ends.

The 2021 Super Bowl will look and feel very different from past Super Bowls. Apart from not having a full stadium (the league disputes that a decision has been made to fill Raymond James Stadium to only 20-percent capacity), Sports Business Daily reports that multiple major events associated with Super Bowl week will be virtual only.

Opening Night, for example, will have no ticketed access and all-virtual player interviews, in accordance with the agreement reached between the NFL and NFL Players Association. Likewise the NFL Honors awards show will be a virtual, made-for-TV production, without a red carpet or tickets to the event.

“Plans continue to evolve,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Sports Business Daily in confirming the changes to Opening Night and NFL Honors.

None of this should surprise anyone. The usual activity of Super Bowl week simply won’t be happening this year. And it’s impossible to imagine the full week of broadcasts and player interviews and everything else that normally happens in the host city.

Hopefully, it’s a one-year-only deviation from normalcy.