Poll: Majority of Americans won’t attend games until COVID-19 vaccine is developed

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With the NHL still deciding what to do with the remainder of the 2019-20 season, many Americans say they have no interest in attending any sporting events until a vaccine is developed for COVID-19. That’s according to a new poll from The Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

“Asked what they would do if the leagues resumed play before the development of a vaccine, 72 percent of Americans said they would not attend games, with 12 percent saying they would if social distancing could be maintained. Only 13 percent said they would feel safe attending as in the past. Among sports fans the number drops to a still significant 61 percent.”

Anyone who’s attended an arena for a hockey game can tell you that social distancing would be nearly impossible considering the cramped seating and narrow aisles.

“As for the possibility of playing games with no fans present, a similar number – 76 percent – said they would watch broadcasts of the games with the same interest as before, with only 16 percent saying they would be less interested and 7 percent saying they would be more interested.”

It seems the majority of fans believe leagues shut down at the right time.

“Make no mistake – sports fans miss their sports…but also respect the devastating power of the virus.  Seventy-six percent said sports shut down at the right time, with 16 percent saying not quickly enough and six percent saying too quickly.”

The Seton Hall Sports Poll was conducted by telephone from April 6th to the 8th with 762 respondents.