The National Football League reports that it plans to hold the Super Bowl as scheduled, despite the Persian Gulf war and continued threats of terrorist activity in the U.S. as a result of that war.
In a written statement, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said that “we recognize that the American people will not be paralyzed by the events in the Middle East or allow the fabric of daily life to be destroyed.” He added that the League expected to play the Super Bowl as scheduled Jan. 27.
Tagliabue, who released his statement late last week, did, however, say that the league would follow the events in the gulf as game time approached.
Several of the nation’s sports columnists have criticized the NFL for its plan to move ahead with the Super Bowl, suggesting that the game would make a perfect target.
“Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have been enlisted in the league’s efforts to provide the highest level of public safety to those attending our games,” Tagliabue said.
In fact, workers in Tampa, site of the Super Bowl, started erecting concrete barriers around the stadium last week in an attempt to ward off any vehicles smashing into the facility.
Plans to hold the game are a relief for ABC, which has the rights to this season’s contest.
Advertisers have paid over $800,000 for a 30-second spot during the game, representing roughly $44 million in revenue for the network.
Meanwhile, the reniaining professional sports leagues are continuing with their planned contests.