As NFL teams prepare for the 2020 season, organizations are getting ready for a year that could see the league lose billions in revenue even with a full 16-game schedule. Now, with players and coaches finding new ways to train, team owners are reportedly coming up with ways to generate revenue.
While states like Florida and Colorado are anticipating fans attending NFL games this fall, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the reality of spectator-free games is beginning to set in for many NFL teams.
Facing the reality of lost revenue from the absence of ticket and merchandise sales, NFL teams could look to use the empty seats to generate more income. It could be especially crucial for clubs in New York and California, which are expected to see a steep decline in attendance this year.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, NFL teams could recoup a significant portion of lost stadium revenue by putting tarps over vacant sections in the stadium and using ads or green screens. The move would allow an organization to reach marketing deals with companies, broadcasting the logos and products to a local and national audience.
The idea is already drawing significant consideration from MLB. Facing the likelihood of an 82-game MLB season in empty ballparks, clubs are already exploring deals that would generate some revenue by taking advantage of empty sections in the stadium. While the NFL doesn’t currently anticipate restrictions os mass gatherings being as severe by September, the marketing move would be beneficial to every team.
The NFL will likely rely on recouping some lost stadium revenue through its television deals and with ratings expecting to soar during the pandemic. The league is always looking to generate more money and if fans can’t attend games early in the season, this would be a profitable way to use the space.