Sarasota health care workers among 7,500 getting free tickets to Super Bowl

The Big Game

Only 22,000 fans allowed to watch game at Raymond James

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The NFL has invited thousands of health care workers who received the coronavirus vaccine to the upcoming Super Bowl in Tampa, the league announced Friday.

The league posted a video of commissioner Roger Goodell surprising workers at Sarasota Memorial Hospital with tickets on Friday.

“These dedicated health care workers continue to put their own lives at risk to serve others, and we owe them our ongoing gratitude,” Goodell said in a news release. “This is also an opportunity to promote the importance of vaccination and appropriate health practices, including wearing masks in public settings.”

“It is amazing and we are very grateful. Hopefully we’ll get to route on the Bucs. I mean, that would be awesome,” said Sarasota nurse Steven Smith.

Those who attend will have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, the league said. Pandemic safety protocols, such as mandatory mask and social distancing requirements, will be in place.

The league said 7,500 health care workers, an additional 14,500 fans will be allowed into the stadium, which has a capacity of around 65,000 and is expandable to more than 70,000.

“It is really a privilege to have the opportunity to be recognized and to be able to go out and share that as one large healthcare family that we have the opportunity to be able to be recognized for the work that we have been doing for the last almost year,” said nurse educator Doris Cahueque.

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