Thanks to a new ruling by the NFL, cameras at football stadiums will soon go where few cameras have gone before: The locker room.
The NFL is mandating that all teams place cameras in the home locker room for the 2013-14 season.
The league will encourage the teams to show this behind-the-scenes footage on the Jumbotron or video board, so fans at the stadium can see what's going on in the locker room. The organizations themselves will be able to choose what is shown, so no secretive meetings or strategy sessions will become public. Rather, things like pre-game speeches and emotional celebrations can be shared with fans.
This is just one more way that the league is trying to enhance the in-stadium experience. Commissioner Roger Goodell realizes that many fans are choosing to watch games from the comforts of their homes rather than at the stadiums. But by amping up the stadium experience, the NFL may entice some fans back to the stadium.
The league also announced that it will mandate teams to show replays of important or controversial plays on the scoreboard. Before, teams could pick and choose which plays to show, and many were careful not to replay sequences that could be valuable to the opposing squad.
"We're going to mandate replays, not just after a disputed call but after a whole series of important plays, fumbles, out of bounds," NFL Executive VP/Business Ventures Eric Grubman told the Sports Business Journal on Wednesday. "Now it doesn't matter if you want your technician to favor the home team. You're not going to have a choice. Why? Just listen to the fans."