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Rachael Price April 12, 2020 4 min read
Majority of Americans Say Not to Attend Sports without COVID-19 Vaccine
A new poll has revealed that some 72% of all Americans would not feel safe attending live events without a coronavirus vaccine. Some 46% of respondents think that sports won’t return through 2020.
72% of Americans Won’t Feel Safe Going to Sports Events without Vaccine
As the coronavirus lockdown continues to claim more sports competitions, and most recently UFC 249, which UFC president Dana White had to publicly cancel after ESPN and Disney weighed in, sports fans, too have expressed concerns about returning to stadiums to watch live professional events.
Even though many have called for the restart of the sports seasons, a recent poll has indicated that 72% of Americans would be reluctant to return to the audiences without a vaccine for the coronavirus.
According to the poll, conducted by Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business and released on Thursday, the majority of the 762 respondents, would not come back to live sports.
Estimated 61% of Respondents Wouldn’t Attend if No Mass Vaccination
The poll offers a good insight into what sports leagues can expect, with all major competitions presently suspended, in restarting their seasons. Specifically, 61% of respondents said they would not personally go to a game without a vaccine.
On the opposite side, some 12% of respondents have expressed their readiness to return to watching events live, but even then, they said that social distancing measures must be observed. That, however, would impact the number of fans that a venue can pack.
The poll revealed that 72% of Americans would be concerned going back to attend live sports without a vaccine, 61% have ruled out the possibility entirely and 46% are not even sure if sports will return by the end of 2020.Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business Poll
As the poll suggests, sports will be highly affected this season, even if they resume, and even if the National Football League (NFL) season begins on time, as U.S. President Donald Trump tried to predict. In light of this, only 13% of respondents said they would feel comfortable returning and attending games as of now.
The urgency of finding a vaccine, it seems, would determine how soon sports can return to full throttle along with the accompanying activities – yet, health experts predict a vaccine no earlier than 2021. However, the poll revealed a broad support for the idea of having sports events without audiences – an idea 76% of respondents said that they would endorse fully.
Even though there has been no official confirmation that sports may be suspended well through 2020, some 46% respondents said that they believed as much.
Hammering the Sports Betting Economy
The coronavirus has been bad news for human life, but equally for the economy. With the United States pushing for the mass legalization of the gambling industry and specifically sports betting, financial targets must now be revisited.
Sportsbooks nationwide have come to a halt, although this hasn’t stopped Colorado to issue 32 new licenses to sportsbooks and push on with regulating the industry. Some events have persisted, such as horse racing throughout the United States and Australia, but without live audiences.
According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), cited by CNBC, the sports betting industry may stand to lose up to $43.5 billion from unrealized betting revenue, and this is just from the months ahead, the trade organization estimates.
This sports season took an important hit with March Madness, the biggest collegiate sports event, and one of the most significant drivers of sports betting revenue, cancelled. Just on Saturday, the XFL announced that it was suspending its operations and laying off employees.
This development affects the XFL particularly badly as the league was designed as a low-key sports competition to fill in the vacuum left by the NFL in the off-season. It has chosen its time to restart operations badly as current developments have shown. The league is very susceptible to exterior factors and the COVID-19 pandemic has been a worst case scenario.