Tampa Mayor Expresses Frustration But Vows A 'Safe' Super Bowl Celebration
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor urges those who want to celebrate the Bucs' Super Bowl championship to "exercise personal responsibility."
After the clock ticked down on the hometown Super Bowl victory by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, videos went viral on social media showing throngs of mostly maskless fans celebrating in Tampa's streets and sports bars packed with joyous patrons.
The scenes came days after Tampa Mayor Jane Castor’s executive order that masks were to be worn inside and outside in “entertainment districts” to protect against the coronavirus.
“It is a little frustrating because we have worked so hard,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said at a post-Super Bowl news conference Monday. “At this point in dealing with COVID-19, there is a level of frustration when you see that.”
While Castor said the Super Bowl was not a superspreader event, she said it's up to people to exercise personal responsibility and wear masks.
“I’m proud to say the majority of individuals that I saw out and about enjoying the festivities associated with the Super Bowl were complying,” she said. “They understood their level of personal responsibility and they were doing the right thing. I’m very proud of that.”
However, the visuals even prompted a question at Monday’s White House media briefing, seeking the level of concern by President Joe Biden upon seeing maskless revelers after the game.
“He is of course concerned when there are pictures and photos - we all are - that show many, many people without masks in close distance with one another at the height of a pandemic,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
Tampa is expected to get another chance to revel in the Bucs’ 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs: a victory parade. Castor said the particulars of the event are still being decided.
“Hopefully, it will be scheduled for later this week, and everybody will be able to participate and participate safely,” Castor said.
In October, thousands attended a boat parade along the Tampa Riverwalk to celebrate the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stanley Cup championship.
“We get to have a Super Bowl celebration,” Castor said. “But you know, this event was historic on so many levels — the fact that we did it during a pandemic, the fact that we were the first team to host in our own backyard, and then the fact that we were the first team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in our own stadium, and so that deserves celebration.”
Health News Florida's Carl Lisciandrello and Rick Mayer contributed to this report. Information from the Associated Press was used.