Americans won’t go to sporting events until there’s a vaccine

By Karina on April 10, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 26: An aerial view from a drone shows Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, empty on Opening Day March 26, 2020 in San Francisco, California. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred recently said the league is “probably not gonna be able to” play a full 162 game regular season. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The professional sports leagues seem optimistic about things returning to normal in the coming months. Major League Baseball is even talking about starting next month, although without fans.

According to a new survey, 72% of Americans said they would NOT consider attending a sporting event until there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, and most experts say that can’t happen until early next year if everything goes smoothly.

12% said they’d go to a game if social distancing could be maintained and only 13% said they’d feel safe attending, in a crowd of tens of thousands of people, just like they did before.

In the same survey, 74% of Americans thought it was possible, likely, or very likely that all sports would be canceled for the rest of this year.

Of course, attitudes can easily change especially if the virus fades away in the summer, and people start seeing others embracing sporting events.

But at least in this survey, people aren’t expecting a return to normalcy right away.

Here are a few other stats:

70% think the NFL should NOT start up again in the fall, to protect the players.  20% say the league should resume, but allow the players to choose not to play. Only 6% say the league should start up as normal.

If sports were deemed safe for the players, 76% said they’d watch televised broadcasts of the games with the same interest as before with only 16% saying they’d be less interested, and 7% saying they’d be more interested.

84% think the IOC acted appropriately in postponing this year’s Olympics to 2021, with only 14% saying they acted too quickly.

And when asked whether teams have an obligation to pay arena and stadium workers for time missed because of the virus, 59% said YES and 33% said NO.