The NFL will sell advertising in the lower rows of seats this season

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The NFL will allow teams to sell camera-visible signs to local sponsors for the first time, Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal reports.

The plan, a way for teams to defray pandemic-related revenue losses, was shared with team presidents on Tuesday, according to Fischer.

The first six or eight rows in each stadium, including the suites on the field, are out of the reach of fans this season to protect players, coaches and team staff from exposure to COVID-19. It also provides sponsorship opportunities.

The tarps, potentially with sponsor logos, will cover those lower-level seats, according to Fischer. English Premier League teams reused the empty seat sections for announcements during the return to play last week.

The owners will hear the plan at a meeting on Thursday.

The restrictions will protect league sponsors, but certain exceptions may be in play for competitive categories, Fischer reports.

Currently, only secondary sponsors like Microsoft, Bose, Gatorade, and Oakley have a highly visible television exposure. The NFL prohibits all others from displaying signs within 40 feet of the playing surface.

It is still unclear how many fans will be able to attend NFL games, but it could vary by stadium.