Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NFL to prevent fans from first six to eight rows at games due to coronavirus

On Tuesday, Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reported that the NFL hopes to permit teams to set attendance capacity limits for home games played during the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal provided additional information regarding what stadium attendance may look like this fall: 

"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.

"Sources said those seats will be covered by tarps that could include sponsor logos, similar to how (English Premier League) teams repurposed empty seating sections for ads during its return to play last week. The plan will be presented to owners at a meeting tomorrow, and they are not expected to oppose it. An NFL spokesman did not reply to a request for comment."

Fischer added that these restrictions are currently only for the upcoming season. 

Increasing coronavirus cases, spikes and outbreaks across the United States lead one to believe no football stadium will be at 100-percent capacity, even if the start of the NFL season is postponed until Oct. 15 or later

The Miami Dolphins have already planned to fill roughly 15,000 of 65,000 seats for games to allow for social-distancing. Stadium capacities for the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans are currently at 50 percent. The Chicago Bears could open their doors "with no more than 20 percent of seating capacity; concessions permitted with restriction" if the campaign kicked off today.

Any of these guidelines could change by Week 1, however, depending on local, state or federal restrictions, or if a second coronavirus wave leads to future lockdowns in the U.S. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink


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