WXYZ — Super Bowl LV will be the first time ever that the teams won’t be playing in front of a sold out crowd due to the COVID-1`9 pandemic.
But even with a lower attendance, the majority of the fans in the stands down in Tampa, will finally be getting a break from their usual work environment, on the front lines at hospitals fighting the virus.
For Michigan natives and first responders Andrea Buras and Charles Eldridge, finding out they’d won a raffle to go Super Bowl LV felt a little bit like a scam.
“They haven’t asked for a credit card number yet, and then I googled who it was from, and she works for the Lions, this is looking promising!” Tampa General Hospital’s Andrea Buras said.
“I was pretty surprised that I was selected, I was still in disbelief because I had not checked my emails for a couple of days so I wasn’t sure if they were still giving me the ticket,” Pediatric emergency physician Charles Eldridge added.
These two Michigan natives along with 7,500 other vaccinated medical professionals will take their seats inside Raymond James Stadium on Sunday to take in the Super Bowl.
“For the NFL to note this and honor health care workers, I’m really impressed by that,” Buras added.
Commissioner Roger Goodell wanted to extend this invite in December, when the league was figuring out attendance plans for the game. Each NFL team picked four people to represent them at the game, the Lions went with two Michigan natives who understand how cool, and rare, this experience will be.
“There’s been a huge outpouring of support from the community here and all across the nation for all the health care workers and this is another example of just the support we’ve been getting for the work,” Eldridge said.
“There’s so many things that make this Super Bowl special, One just the Covid Super Bowl and that this season happened at all, the fact that it’s the home team playing in the Super Bowl for the first time ever, and in addition for all the health care workers having this opportunity to get tickets, truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that cannot be matched,” Buras added.
And while Andrea and Charles are both Florida residents now, their Michigan roots are still very much at the forefront of their fandom. Both tell me they’ll be rocking some Lions swag as they enjoy themselves on Sunday.