April 11, 2020

61% of Sports Fans Won't Attend Games Without a Vaccine: Seventy two percent of Americans would not attend a sporting event if a vaccine for coronavirus is not yet available, according to a poll conducted by Seton Hall University. When the question was narrowed to sports fans, 61 percent would not go. Only 12 percent of Americans said they'd go to a game with social distancing measures in place. There's no timetable on a vaccine but it might not arrive until 2021.

posted by rcade to general at 12:40 PM - 2 comments

This is a more difficult choice than one might think. First off, let's eliminate a couple of options. The idea of playing games in empty arenas has little appeal to players, owners, those who run the concessions, and those of us who are season ticket members. The logistics of it are difficult: bad if you put all the teams into a limited geographic area, worse if you try to play in the scheduled venue for each game. Travel and lodging under social distancing conditions and limited quarantine could be a nightmare. Add to this the operating costs to use even an empty arena would discourage many team owners.

Allowing fans into the arena, but limiting the numbers in order to maintain distance is not likely to happen. How do you work this? Do you assign every 3rd seat in every 3rd row? What if I want to sit next to my wife or son? If you have ever been to a game at TD Garden, you can understand how crowded the entry lobby is. Requiring fans to maintain 6 feet distance while queuing up for the metal detectors would make necessary a small army of ushers to regulate the spacing and limit the number of fans admitted to the lobby at any one time. Further, where and how would those who are waiting to enter the lobby be held? How do you empty the arena after the game? Do you allow one or two sections, row by row, to exit at a time? Add transportation, pre- or post-game meals or drinks, and the problems to overcome multiply.

Now for the answer to the question at hand. Would I attend a game if restrictions are lifted but there's no vaccine available? Under the condition that at least one or two of the promising treatment methods is approved and available (Remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, or such), the answer is definitely yes. Under such conditions the risk of serious harm is lessened, and the disease is reduced to one that causes discomfort and a period of isolation. That's a risk I'm willing to take, and with potential treatments now undergoing clinical trials, they could be available long before a vaccine could finish the research and clinical trials needed for approval. So my final answer becomes a "definite maybe". Under the right circumstances, of course I will go, but when will we get there?

posted by Howard_T at 03:33 PM on April 11

Picking from among the 39% would yield more than enough spectators for a golf tournament TV broadcast.

You just a need a few dozen people stationed on each hole.

1) A few dudes near the tee to holler "Get In The Hole!" as soon as a player hits his tee shot. For the sake of realism, you only need a couple of these folks on the Par 3's. On the Par 4's and Par 5's you want more people hollering near the tee to create a more accurate rendition of normal tournament conditions. The longer the hole is, the more they holler.

2) One or two people on either side of the fairway 300 yards downrange from the tee to serve as human targets for errant drives. If they weren't there, players like Rory McIlroy would be much more inclined to keep their drives in the fairway, which makes for less compelling television.

3) A handful of people standing nearby to yell "Get In The Hole!" after players hit their second shot. If it's clear that the player has pulled a short iron out the bag and is going to lay up on a tough Par 5 rather than go for the green, you need extra people to help with the yelling, again for the sake of realism.

4) One group of miked up college kids with complimentary beverage service watching a monitor behind the clubhouse to scream on command when a player hits an approach shot onto the green that lands within scoring range. These sounds go directly to the network producer in the mobile truck.

5) A few people to clap and whistle as the players walk up to the green after their second or third shots.

6) People around the green to yell "Get In The Hole!" as players hit on to the green from bunkers or the apron.

7) A second group of college kids with mobile beverage service to travel 2-3 holes ahead of the leaders. These kids will erupt into a huge roar that can be heard all over the golf course as the leaders are lining up their putts. This will simulate a popular, hard charging player two strokes behind the leaders just having made birdie.

8) One or two people from the number 6 group to yell "Get In The Hole!" again while the rest of the group starts a murmur and builds it into a hopeful crescendo as each player strikes a putt. All the people in the number 6 group must be prepared to cheer if the ball goes in, or clap politely if the player sinking the putt is Rory Sabbatini or Bubba Watson.

posted by beaverboard at 04:12 PM on April 11

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