The 2020 NFL season yielded a mixed bag of stadium capacities around the league. Depending on local regulations and team preferences, some organizations operated under limited capacity and others welcomed no fans at all.
This coming season, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expects to have a more uniform structure.
During a recent interview with NFL Network, Goodell shared his expectations for stadium capacities heading into the 2021 season.
“This year, we’re comfortable that local regulations are going to allow us to have fans at all 32 stadiums,” the commissioner said. “We’ll still be smart. We’re still going to be willing to adapt. We’re still going to do everything to make sure our fans are safe when they’re there. But we expect full stadiums.
“You know, the fans want to come back. That’s the No. 1 thing we hear. We’re seeing that in our ticket sales. Fans just want to be apart (of) and have that collective experience. Doing that around an NFL game is fun.”
In an interview with @judybattista on @nflnetwork, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated the league expects to have full stadiums this season. “The fans want to come back. That’s the No. 1 thing we hear.” pic.twitter.com/U99ajYFF5g
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 31, 2021
As of May 25, 30 of the league’s 32 teams had approved their stadiums for full capacity in 2021 — leaving only the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts. The Broncos cleared Mile High Stadium on Jun. 2 and the Colts followed with Lucas Oil Stadium’s approval on Jun. 29.
In addition to the return of the roaring NFL crowds that we’ve become accustomed to, full capacity stadiums means a massive resurgence in revenue for the league.
According to USA Today Sports, the NFL salary cap dipped to $182.5 million following a loss of revenue in 2020.