The league has been lucky so far.
The National Football League like most American businesses has struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. But somehow the league is still on course to play its crown jewel championship event, the Super Bowl on February 7th, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. But there is no guarantee that is going to happen. The league has a contingency plan in place to expand its playoff run if a complete 17 or even 18-week schedule cannot not be finished. Why not add two teams to the playoff mix? An expanded playoffs would bring in television money. A playoff game is worth more than an average regular season game financially. Television networks want playoff games because it drives people to watch the event and advertisers are happy because they get hard to come by for programming 18 to 54-year old men watching. The NFL still produces television’s most consistent high-volume watchers’ programs.
The NFL hopes that it can get people in the stadium for the Super Bowl in Tampa. The target is to fill 20 percent of the seats in the Tampa stadium. But two franchise owners won’t get people in the stadium for the rest of the season. Robert Kraft’s Foxboro, Massachusetts-based New England Patriots will play in an empty stadium because COVID-19 spread is getting worse in Massachusetts and Minnesota Vikings’ ownership has given up on getting people into its Minneapolis stadium because COVID-19 community spread has not been slowed down. Green Bay will not have any customers in the building when it plays Jacksonville but Packers officials hope they can work something out with Brown County, Wisconsin public health officials and get some people eventually into the football venue. Wisconsin is also experiencing a massive COVID-19 spread. The NFL players and staff COVID-19 cases have been increasing. Still the NFL keeps moving ahead, hoping to complete the season.