‘Stadia safety top priority for UK fans’


Honeywell research on fan return UK Image: Kerry London

The leading building controls company – Honeywell – recently released the results of its study of sports fan attitudes about returning to stadium-based sporting events in the United Kingdom as the European country emerges out of a deadly strain of coronavirus which has taken a huge toll on lives.

‘Honeywell’ stated that the findings show that despite the successful vaccination rollout program in UK, people’s concerns around the deadly COVID-19 remain, with 88 percent of respondents wanting an increased focus on safety measures, such as air quality management and physical distancing, when they return to the stadia fold in full force. Importantly, 79 percent of those surveyed said they wanted clubs and stadium operators to notify them in advance of attendance that these types of safety measures related to COVID-19 are in place.

Atlanta (US)-based Honeywell Building Technologies has operations in more than 75 countries. Commercial building owners and operators use its hardware, software and analytics to help create safe, efficient and productive facilities. The company’s solutions and services are used in more than 10 million buildings worldwide.

‘Honeywell’ further stated that despite COVID concerns, there is widespread excitement among people at the prospect of returning to live events, with 54 percent of surveyed fans hoping to secure tickets to at least three games even while stadium crowd limits are in place.

The study of 2,000 UK sports fans revealed that, among those surveyed:

  • Seventy nine percent are worried about returning to stadia due to the potential risk of contracting the virus;
  • Surprisingly, amongst 16-24-year-old respondents that figure rises to 83 percent; and
  • Almost half (46 percent) are reluctant to take family members to watch live sport again, with 44 percent of those surveyed saying they will hold off doing so until they understand what safety measures have been implemented.

Said Patrick Hogan, Chief Commercial Officer, Honeywell Building Technologies, “Sports fans are passionate about watching live games, but our study shows that many fans remain worried about the potential risks COVID-19 poses at events and for them, safety is paramount. Fans have clearly signaled that they are looking for reassurances from clubs and stadium operators that they have the processes, protocols and technologies in place to help minimize risk so that they can get back to enjoying live sport as safely as possible.”

Many of the safety measures that have become commonplace in most aspects of daily life continue to be expected by many sports fans while inside stadia. Sixty six percent of surveyed fans expect that restrictions on fan movement will be necessary to help protect spectators and staff. Approximately, half (46 percent) of those surveyed want to see the monitoring of social distancing compliance, while 38 percent support the introduction of temperature monitoring for fans at the venue ingress point and 27 percent want to see the use of air purification systems within the concourse to reduce the risk of contagion.

Added Hogan, “Fans are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get back to stadia to watch live sports but our study shows that they are prepared for a gameday experience that is not the same as it was before. With 90 percent of fans telling us that they believe their support from the stands can have an impact on the game, it’s important everyone involved does what they can to get fans back quickly, but also as safely as possible. We’re actively engaging with clubs and stadium operators around the country to help them get systems and policies in place to help support their efforts to get fans safely back to grounds.”

Honeywell’s Healthy Buildings solutions help building owners improve their building environments, operate more cleanly and safely, comply with social distancing policies, and reassure occupants. By integrating air quality, safety and security technologies along with advanced analytics, Honeywell’s healthy buildings solutions are designed to help reduce potential risks of contamination and improve business continuity by monitoring both the building’s environment and its occupants’ behaviors.


The Honeywell survey was conducted by Censuswide among 2,000 sports fans in the United Kingdom, between March 3rd-9th, 2021 using an online survey. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of responses and the level of the percentages expressing the results.

ESOMAR is a membership organization for market, social and opinion researchers that were founded in 1947. The name ESOMAR is an abbreviation of their original name, the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research, which reflects the original catchment of the organization.

Censuswide is a global insight-driven research company, with screened panels in dozens of countries and bases in London, Brighton, Scotland, and Dubai.

The Market Research Society is a professional body for market research based in London, England (UK). It was established in 1946 at the offices of the London Press Exchange. It represents the views of its members to the Government and in the Press.

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