American football league the NFL has approved a measure to restrict stadium capacities for the 2020 season to aid the safe staging of games amid COVID-19, in what is being interpreted as a potential new sponsorship opportunity for teams.

According to multiple reports, the League yesterday (Thursday) signed off on the move that will theoretically limit player and coaching staff exposure to the virus while they’re on the sidelines by preventing teams from having fans in the first six to eight rows of seating in every stadium, including on-field suites.

While the NFL has not officially confirmed this move, Sports Business Journal reported earlier this week that it will allow teams to sell TV camera-visible signage to local sponsors for the first time, a measure that will address COVID-19-related losses.

The seats will reportedly be covered by tarps that could include sponsor logos. The policy will be in place for the 2020 season only, with the value of this new signage opportunity likely to be high due to restrictions that are typically in place.

Currently, only major NFL sponsors such as Microsoft, Bose, Gatorade and Oakley are permitted brand exposure on the field and other places TV cameras generally focus on. All other commercial partners are prevented from displaying signage below 40 feet above the playing surface.

The 2020 regular season is due to kick-off on September 10 with the defending Super Bowl champion, Kansas City Chiefs, hosting the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium (pictured). The NFL is currently said to be confident its season can commence as planned amid the pandemic.

Image: Arrowhead Stadium Events