Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, citing sources within the NFL, reports that the league will allow each team to determine their own allotted capacity level for games in 2020 based on county-based health guidelines.
“Attendance will be a state-by-state, county-by-county thing,” an anonymous NFL source tells Kaplan. “It will not be a one size fits all. I wish they would push back the start of the year to October to give us more time to learn from these other leagues.”
TicketIQ founder Jesse Lawrence, which is a ticket search engine company, said NFL teams have told him that they are developing a range of options for their capacity limits.
“Every team has run this scenario of zero, 25, 50, 70 percent there… Everyone has those plans in the hopper,” said Lawrence. “And then I think they’re going to pull out the plan that they feel like works at the start of the season, and if things change, they’re going to flip to Plan B or Plan C.”
Former Jets and Dolphins’ executive Mike Tannenbaum believes 2020 will be a more difficult adjustment for certain fan bases like the Seahawks, Steelers, and Chiefs.
“It’s going to be a fascinating year because some of the more traditionally rabid fan bases, like when we think of places like Seattle, or Pittsburgh, traditionally, Kansas City, this is going to look and feel differently,” said Tannenbaum. “And I think that’s going to somewhat normalize outcomes from a standpoint that I don’t think we’re going to see the traditional home-field advantage as we knew it.”
- Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal reports that the NFL will allow teams to sell camera-visible signage to local sponsors if games can’t be attended by fans at full capacity.
- According to Fischer, this would allow teams to recoup some revenue losses by using the first six to eight rows in every stadium, including on-field suites, for ads.
- The NFL plans to make these rows off-limits to fans this season in order to protect players, coaches and team staff.
- NFL owners are scheduled to discuss this among a number of topics on a Thursday conference call.
Draft Pick Signings
- As of Wednesday, just 70 draft picks have been signed, which is just over 27 percent.
- Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that some NFL teams are continuing to tell agents they’re waiting to conduct physicals at club facilities, which remain closed because of the pandemic, before signing their draft picks.