The 2020 NFL Season is going to look a lot different than anything we’ve ever seen.
Due to concerns over the coronavirus, the league is taking measures to help comply with government regulations and avoid spreading the virus.
One of these measures is quite creative, allowing teams to cover the first 6-8 rows of their stadium seats with sellable advertisements. This was approved on Thursday in the hopes of recovering some of the lost revenue which will inevitably come due to reduced (or completely empty) stadium capacity.
NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith had reportedly told agents to expect at least $3 billion in revenue loss if fans were not allowed to attend games at all, so selling ads to cover those empty seats is an interesting solution to their money problem.
The NFL has yet to release any sort of mandate on whether teams can allow fans at all, or at a reduced capacity, but The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan recently reported that they will not do so. Instead, teams will be left to their own devices for making these decisions.
Implementing this ability to sell ads viewable on television certainly points to the no-fans option being top of mind across the league, however.