As I wrote about yesterday, the NFL is considering allowing teams to use state guidelines pertaining to fan attendance in their stadiums, which could mean for some teams, in theory, they could have full attendance permitted, while others will not be allowed to have fans in the stadium at all.
On the line is roughly $3 billion in revenue that comes from ticket sales and in-stadium purchases, a source that both the owners and the players both draw from, and which could have an obvious impact on the 2021 salary cap, so understandably all parties involved are concerned about that possibility.
One thing the league is weighing as a small compensation is to allow teams to sell ad space on seats that will be tarped due to coronavirus social distancing measures. The ads would be sold to sponsors local to the franchises hosting the game.
“What this means is, instead of having fans in the first eight rows”, Ian Rapoport rapoports, “what the NFL is allowing teams to do is tarp off the first eight rows to allow local sponsors an opportunity to advertise. It’s a chance for teams to make some money”.
“This is not, however, going to offset the losses of having little to no fans to start the season”, he went on. “It’s not gonna take care of the revenue loss. This is basically gonna give teams an opportunity to take some advertisers that were already on the books, an opportunity to give them ad space that they thought they were gonna have at the beginning of the season, if this was gonna be a regular season”.
From @NFLTotalAccess: Teams will be allowed to sell ad space on the first 8 rows of tarped seats for 2020 only, but that won’t make up for much lost revenue from not having full stadiums. pic.twitter.com/6xdIraxKZi
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 25, 2020
It goes without saying that some ad space sales in a select portion of the stadium is not going to make up for an otherwise empty stadium. But this is just one of a number of possibilities that the league could pursue to try to make up some revenue loss. Selling ad space on uniforms and during the in-game broadcast are obvious possibilities that we already see in other sports. Players likely wouldn’t object too much since they also profit from this.
The bottom line is this: the more money the teams make, the more money they can spend on players, and the better equipped they can be to build their rosters. That is, at least, how it’s supposed to work, ideally. Generally a rise in salary cap space primarily impacts the top salaries more than anything else.
Get ready for Primanti Bros. presents: the Steelers extra point attempt.