Poll shows sports fans leery of games with no vaccine

Monday, April 20, 2020

Some of the findings from the Seton Hall Sports Poll in which 762 U.S. adults reached by phone April 6-8 were asked their thoughts during the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down the nation’s sports calendar.

Of the respondents, 54 percent said they followed sports closely or very closely, while 46 percent said they didn’t follow sports closely or didn’t follow sports at all.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

GOING TO GAMES? — 72 percent of those responding said they wouldn’t feel safe attending games without a COVID-19 vaccine. That number dropped to 61 percent among those who identified themselves as sports fans. Overall, 12 percent said they would feel safe with social distancing while 13 percent said they would feel safe attending games like they had in the past.

RESPONDING TO THE VIRUS — 76 percent felt professional sports leagues in the United States acted at the right time to suspend their seasons, while 16 percent thought the leagues didn’t react quickly enough. Only 6 percent said the decisions were made too quickly.

TOO SOON? — Asked if the International Olympic Committee acted too quickly rescheduling the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to 2021, 84 percent of respondent said no.

NFL SEASON — 70 percent said the NFL shouldn’t start in the fall to ensure the safety of players, even if some form of social distancing is still in place. And 20 percent said the season should start with players being allowed to choose not to play, while 6 percent said the league should start as planned.

PLAYING AT ALL? — 40 percent said sports shouldn’t be played for the remainder of 2020. For those who said sports should be played, 12 percent said it should happen with fans present, 23 percent with restricted attendance and 21 percent with no fans present.

WATCHING LIVE GAMES — 76 percent said they would have the same interest watching a broadcast of live sports played without fans; 16 percent would be less interested and 7 percent would be more interested.