NFL football at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Dec 22, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; The NFL 100 logo is shown on a Wilson football before the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has started embracing the reality that teams won’t be playing in stadiums packed to the brim with paying fans. At the least, we can expect limited fan access at just about every stadium around the nation.

Addressing this on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media shared that the NFL is considering allowing local authorities to set attendance levels for each team.

NFL stands to lose significant revenue with fewer fans

Even if the stadiums are half full, the NFL and its teams will lose significant revenue. Without any fans, that toll is staggering.

The league itself hauled in a stunning $8.1 billion in revenue during the 2018 NFL season, per the Green Bay Packers financials. Without fans in the stands, the league stands to lose over $3 billion in 2020, per multiple reports.

So it’s not surprising to hear the league is coming up with creative solutions to negate some of this assumed revenue loss.

NFL will tarp lower rows to sell advertising space in stadiums

On Wednesday, Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily reported the NFL has put a plan into motion that will โ€œsignificantlyโ€ defray pandemic-related revenue losses.

Per the report:

“Under a plan shared with team presidents on Tuesday, the first six to eight rows of seating in every stadium — including on-field suites — will be off limits to fans this season. That move is officially to protect players, coaches and team staff from coronavirus exposure, but it would also free up that space to become lucrative sponsorship assets.”

This plan will reportedly be shared with NFL owners on Thursday, and they “are not expected to oppose it.”

Jesse Reed
Managing Editor at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.