Most US fans to steer clear of stadia: Survey



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US fans not feeling safe without vaccine Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

As per a survey conducted recently, majority of US sports fans are waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to the stadia fold.

The survey, which was conducted by Seton Hall University’s (New Jersey) Sharkey Institute, collected answers from 1,506 adults across the US from November 13th to 16th – roughly one week after the American multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer announced it had developed a coronavirus vaccine that was more than 90 percent effective.

Seton Hall University is a private Roman Catholic university in South Orange, New Jersey.

More than two-thirds (67 percent) of all respondents said they would not attend an indoor sporting event without a vaccine, even if face covers were made mandatory and strict social distancing measures were in place. For the respondents who identified as sports fans, 60 percent said they were waiting for a vaccine before attending any sporting fixture.

Under the present COVID-19 measures in place in the United States, only 21 percent said they would attend an indoor sporting event, with 12 percent saying they did not know nor had any opinion on the same.

Even for outdoor sporting events, 58 percent of all respondents stated they were waiting on a vaccine rather than depending on personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and social distancing measures to stay safe from the fatal respiratory disease as the US is still caught in its vicious vortex. A total of 28 percent said they would attend sporting events without a vaccine, while 14 percent said they did not hold any opinion on the same.

Overall, 50 percent of those surveyed who identified as sports fans said they would not attend outdoor events until a vaccine is made available.

The survey follows a Seton Hall Sports Poll carried out in April this year, which found that 72 percent of respondents were in no mood to grace an indoor or outdoor event till a vaccine was made available. The poll also found that 61 percent of those who described themselves as sports fans would not attend these events.

“The recent news of vaccine breakthroughs has got to be enormously uplifting to those in the business of selling tickets, be it sports or entertainment,” said Professor Charles Grantham, Director, Center for Sport Management, within the Stillman School of Business, which oversees the Seton Hall Sports Poll.

Seton Hall Sports Poll is the first and only university-based, ongoing polling service exclusively devoted to the multibillion dollar sports industry, and its findings serve as a barometer of public opinion on the many important issues confronting sports today.

Added Grantham, “Even though the percentages who would not attend have improved since the Spring and the onset of the pandemic, these are just awful numbers to ponder.”

Stillman Professor of Marketing and Poll Methodologist Daniel Ladik added, “The Pfizer announcement of an imminent and efficacious vaccine was widely published prior to our polling and is presumably reflected in these numbers. An eager nation of sports fans awaits.”

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