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Survey: Fans Reluctant to Return in Next Six Months

Andy Berg

A new survey of sports fans found that only 27 percent of respondents are looking to go to a sporting event in the next six months.

The survey, but event payment provider Tappit, found that the numbers look more promising when looking at the next 12 months, where 58 percent of Americans are aiming to attend a sporting event in that time.

In making a decision about whether to attend an event, the majority of respondents (78%) claimed sitting too close to other spectators was a factor impacting their decision, while 52 percent stated that long lines at concession stands would have an impact on their decision to return, followed by 45 percent mentioning the reduced atmosphere in the venue.

The survey also reflected the physical measures that fans believed were most important to implement, with social distancing throughout the stadium being the major driver. An overwhelming 71 percent of the respondents said they were in favor of social distancing measures, followed by sanitizing stations (58%) and temperature checks (48%).

Although only 15 percent of American sports fans have attended a major league sporting event since the start of the pandemic (mostly due to the majority of leagues shuttering their stadiums to fans), of those who have attended a game to date, 72 percent felt their team's venue did a good job of making them feel safe and comfortable ­– an indicator that stadiums and venues who are allowing spectators are taking concerns seriously and putting fans' health and safety first.

"Although a large percentage of American sports fans currently feel uncomfortable attending in-person games, there are numerous initiatives that stadiums are implementing that make spectators feel more at ease," said Jason Thomas, Global CEO of Tappit in a press release. "Our data suggests that if all venues address the key concerns around social distancing, long lines and minimizing contact, then fans would be much more willing to attend events. There are a host of measures that can be put in place that will help fans feel safe and return faster, from speeding up transactions using contactless payments through to reducing person-to-person contact and providing sanitizer stations."

Tappit surveyed 1,500 Americans aged 18 and older for this report.

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