With the growing expectation that NFL games will not be played in front of full stadiums this season, the league and its teams are clearly working to come up with other revenue sources.
According to Ben Fischer of Sports Business Daily, the NFL will have the first six to eight rows of seating blocked off from fans this season in a bid to protect players and staff. That space will be covered with a tarp, and teams will be allowed to place sponsor logos on the tarp that will be visible on television. While the move won’t completely make up for the loss of revenue from limited or no fan attendance, it will help defray those costs.
This would be a change in NFL policy, as the league has tightly controlled who gets ad space close to the field. There will still be restrictions in place to protect traditional league sponsors, but exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis by the league.
There are concerns about huge financial losses if games are played without fans. Expect the league to continue looking at things like this to allow teams to make up some of that lost revenue and soften the blow.