After the NFL and NFLPA approved an additional 17th game to the regular-season schedule, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed optimism in reference to having stadiums welcome full capacity crowds for the 2021-22 season.
"We want to see every one of our fans back," Goodell said. "We expect to have full stadiums in the coming season."
The additional revenue from having fans back at the stands will do wonders for the league's salary cap. A 92% decrease in fan attendance as a result of differing COVID-19 health and safety protocols from stadium to stadium caused an 8% drop in the salary cap, which is down to $182.5 million this season.
As vaccine distribution continues to ramp up around the United States, as 148 million have already been administered, while coronavirus cases continue to rise in many states, creating a safe way for fans to return back to full capacity stadiums will be paramount. Many stadiums and teams, however, will still be operating under state and local laws and regulations.