Riptide Partners Customer Experience (CX) solutions conducted a new survey of New York residents on whether these fans in attendance at sporting events and concerts would likely return to sport and entertainment venues with the COVID-19 pandemic not going away anytime soon. The consulting firm received 4,000 completed surveys conducted at N.Y. area sports events and concerts by attendees. The full-service solution extracted data signifying 89% will return to events depending on the risk while the average time of return is 3.5 months with all factors considered. This is hailed as the first, and therefore most comprehensive study of queried individuals at live sporting events. I ran a 24-hour survey on Twitter yesterday through today my followers voted on whether they would attend live sports in the next 90-days. Over 60 percent said no to attending any live sports event the next three months. It seems the fans and concert goers in NY are starving for live sports enough to go back sooner than expected as long as health and safety conditions are met.
Live Sport Risk Easing
You can’t have live sports without the participants. If the pandemic proved one thing it is that you can indeed, play without human fans in attendance inside venues. I give credit to leagues and teams using technology to simulate sights, sounds and feel of live games for the most important viewers, the TV audience, as they are truly who the game is played for.
The survey question posed to fans in the New York tri-state area uncovered some must COVID haves and wants in order for fans to return to venues.
“There are literally hundreds of theaters, arenas and venues of all sizes that have been affected by the shutdown, and it was our desire to get a better handle on the thoughts of those venue patrons who had attended events prior to the shutdown. We think this survey tells a slightly different story than what was originally thought,” said Rob Comstock, Riptide Partners co-founder. “The variable of when people can return to venues in larger groups will be decided by health and government officials, but when that date is set, we believe that people will feel safer, and come back sooner, than anticipated based on the survey responses we have received.”
Of those questioned, 75% of consumers attended concerts / live events most frequently and 25% attended sporting events the most.
An astonishing 89% of the 4,000 surveyed are OK with returning to sit inside a venue dependent on an event’s safety factors.
Screening attendees and proper disinfection of venues were the two most wanted changes before the facility was safe enough for entry.. Seating and bathrooms were top health issues. Interesting, most queried shared a willingness to accept the handling of food and beverage safety at an acceptable level.
An average time of 3.5 months to return to live sports events seems overly optimistic unless a vaccine is developed. Those respondents with abundant concerns are waiting at least 5.2 months. There are of course fans willing to return immediately to live sports events, pandemic or not.
Males made up a majority of sports attendees, females the same for concert/event patrons.
The data indicated there was a direct correlation between fan affinity and returning to indoor venues. Hardcore fans seem to want to attend games no matter the health risks.
Sports Leagues Test Players, Not Fans
First to come back and offer fanless games and matches was Bundesliga in Germany, followed by the UFC, Premier League and La Liga, then came the MLS, NBA. MLB, and NHL. The NFL begins their 2020 season on September 10 featuring defending Super Bowl LIV champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, hosting the Houston Texans. The Miami Dolphins are hard at work implementing many technology-driven safety procedures in the hotspot of South Florida where coronavirus continues to spread.
Fans in attendance at live games will not be tested regularly like the players. Going from fanless to partial seating is a major step the country may not be ready for yet, especially in hot zones.
This information is in regards to indoor venues only. The data on people willing to attend outdoor events was made available by officials and is already occurring in some areas.
Sports Techie, I conducted a 24-hour Twitter survey of @SportsTechieNET and @THESportsTechie followers and more than 57% are not OK with attending a live sporting event in the next 90 days. Yet, 43% are fine with it as long as safety factors are met. These 57%-43% numbers sound eerily like a Biden and Trump approval poll.
No venue is 100% safe from COVID-19. Not every fan will be coronavirus free. But it seems enough fans are willing to attend live sporting events and concerts in the New York area right now or 90 days down the calendar road.
Please wear a mask.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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