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Super Bowl 2021: Tampa mayor upset by lack of masks at celebrations following Buccaneers’ win

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Sunday’s Super Bowl was one of the biggest sporting events to take place in the United States with fans in attendance since the COVID-19 pandemic began last March. Even though the pandemic is very much still ongoing, there were thousands of maskless fans throughout Tampa, including at Raymond James Stadium and in the streets, following the Buccaners’ 31-9 win over the Kansas Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor was quick to scold those who weren’t wearing masks throughout Sunday’s festivities.

“It is a little frustrating because we have worked so hard,” Castor said during a press conference on Monday. “At this point in dealing with COVID-19, there is a level of frustration when you see that.”

Prior to Super Bowl LV, over 200,000 masks were handed out in the host city and it appeared as though people and business were following the proper protocols. There were an estimated 25,000 fans — over 7,000 of whom were vaccinated health care workers — at Raymond James Stadium for Sunday’s game, which is about a third of the venue’s normal capacity.

Buccaneers fans celebrate their team’s Super Bowl LV victory outside Raymond James Stadium.
Getty Images

Following the game, fans were seen celebrating in the streets and not practicing social distancing or wearing masks. 

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Castor had signed a voluntary executive order that required people to wear masks during any Super Bowl-related events. In addition, she revealed that the city could issue fines of up to $500 if people were seen without masks. It’s currently unclear if any citations were handed out.

Florida has documented an estimated 1.7 million COVID-19 cases and over 28,000 deaths. According to the Associated Press, so far an estimated 667,830 people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state.

Castor did have good news, adding that the city wants to celebrate the Buccaneeers’ championship victory with an official celebration later this week.

“This win was from the Buccaneer team but this win was for our entire community,” Castor said. “They deserve to be able to celebrate with the team. Everybody will be able to participate and participate safely.”

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