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Tampa Bay: First NFL team to play at home in Super Bowl LV

Buccaneers Packers Football
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reaches back to pass during the first half of the NFC championship NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Tom Brady has played in nine Super Bowls, won six and now #12 will do something that’s never been done in NFL history: play a Super Bowl at home. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers advanced past the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game (31-26) despite Brady throwing three picks.

It’s already been a season of firsts for the 43-year-old. It’s his first season with a team other than the New England Patriots. It’s his first season playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Now, the Bucs become the first team ever to play the season’s final game at home. In two weeks Brady will lead the Buccaneers onto their home field a Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida for Super Bowl 55.

Amazingly, the wild-card Bucs reached the NFL finale after playing three road playoff games. However home field advantage is diminished this year because the Super Bowl will be played in front of a far smaller crowd than usual.

Tampa Bay averaged 14,483 fans for its eight home games in 2020 — about 22% of stadium capacity. The NFL is planning for 20% capacity at the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, according to ESPN.
The exact number of fans will come out to about 22,000. The NFL has invited 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to the Super Bowl for free. On top of that, there will be 14,500 additional fans who purchased tickets to attend.
Fans will be in pods separated by 6 feet, and masks will be required in accordance with local COVID-19 safety protocols.

If Brady wins the big prize with the Buccaneers, he will pick up his seventh ring…one for the thumb.