Super Bowl LV will have 25,000 fans in attendance on Sunday watching Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on Patrick Mahomes and his Kansas City Chiefs. Fans will be spaced out, wearing masks and there will be strict protocols as to where they can go inside the stadium grounds. The venue, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida, lies in one of the United States’ red states, where the resistance to mask-wearing, social distancing and restrictions has been fierce since day one. Republicans have been sceptical of the government’s overreach because of Covid-19, and it has shown in cases. Florida is averaging about 10,000 cases a day amid its second wave, but the state has already made a name for itself as a sporting destination. The Ultimate Fighting Championship was first to utilise the state’s leniency in hosting events in Jacksonville last May . UFC president Dana White was lambasted in the media, but pushed ahead and served up a healthy dose of humble pie to his detractors . The National Basketball League, when it decided to resume its season on July 30, headed to Orlando and the Disney World bubble. Now Tampa Bay, which has already rolled out pregame activities for the Super Bowl around the city, looks to hold one of the first large-scale sporting events since the pandemic started. The NFL is inviting 7,500 vaccinated health care workers to attend in a clear PR bid for public support. Commissioner Roger Goodell has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and appears to have their blessing to hold the event, given there will be numerous protocols and health and safety requirements in place. Down under, the Australian Open is about to start on February 8 in Melbourne. Athletes have endured quarantine, made interesting requests while doing so , and now it appears the tournament is ready to roll. Organisers have even said there will be 30,000 fans allowed to watch each day. It wasn’t without controversy, but one of tennis’ biggest events is back. China’s No 1 Wang crashes out of Australian Open warm-up This should all be music to the ears of the International Olympic Committee, and Japanese organisers for the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics , now scheduled to start on July 23. The IOC and the Tokyo organising committee will take a lot of flak, but putting on a Games is feasible. The NFL has long had right-wing roots and pushed back hard against Covid-19 regulations more so than any of the other three major North American sports leagues. Alas MLB, NHL and NBA games in red states have also had fans at games, and NFL games in blue states have been fan less. What the NFL and the UFC have shown is you can put on a show but be prepared to take the heat. The UFC got a lot of negative attention for Jacksonville, and even Fight Island in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Both the UFC and the NFL have had to deal with players testing positive, and games being rescheduled, or fighters being pulled from cards. But there has yet to be any massive cluster being linked to a sporting event specifically. There’s a lot of coronavirus shaming going on, but it appears the tide is turning. People are weighing the likelihood of living with Covid-19 and how long they want to stay cooped up in their homes waiting the pandemic out. After nearly a year of dealing with the coronavirus, some are most definitely ready to take some risks in resuming their normal lives, and engage in sport and recreation again. Elite athletes, who have waited four years for their shot at Olympic glory, have had to deal with the Games being delayed, then being been stuck in whatever country they are, unable to train regularly or compete, at all. Tokyo 2020 will be different. The coronavirus has brought a new normal, and there is nothing wrong with the IOC bringing in athletes from all over the world, quarantining them, and then letting them compete with minimal fan attendance. Most people watch the Olympics from their television screens, and there has yet to be any real complaints about watching sports on television without fans. People are just happy their favourite teams and athletes are back in action, and the feeling is mutual. No one is forcing anyone to attend these Games, and no one is forcing athletes to attend either. If people don’t feel comfortable, staying at home is their best option. Kittens and puppies top Australian Open quarantine requests Some of us, including Olympic athletes, want our lives back. We want to watch and play the sports we love, and are willing to take some risks. Tokyo 2020 is more than doable. Organisers just need the resolve, and some solid case studies like Super Bowl LV and the Australian Open to empower them to push ahead.