A survey from Seton Hall University’s sports poll has shown that 67 per cent of Americans would not attend indoor sporting competitions as a spectator without a vaccine for COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a halt on sport, especially at indoor events where the virus is more susceptible to spreading.
Even with masks and social distancing, two-thirds of Americans said they would not attend events without a vaccine, while 58 per cent admitted the same even for outdoor events.
Only 21 per cent said they would attend an indoor sporting event, with 12 per cent claiming they did not know or had no opinion.
With masks and social distancing, 28 per cent said they would attend outdoor events.
The poll was conducted between November 13 and 16, with 1,506 American adults across the country participating.
Back in April, a similar poll was released by Seton Hall University, showing that a combined 72 per cent would not attend indoor or outdoor events without a vaccine.
“The recent news of vaccine breakthroughs has got to be enormously uplifting to those in the business of selling tickets, be it sports or entertainment,” said Charles Grantham, director of the Center for Sport Management at Stillman School of Business, which oversees the Seton Hall sports poll.
“Even though the percentages who would not attend have improved since the spring and the onset of the pandemic, these are just awful numbers to ponder.”
This recent poll took place following reports that multiple pharmaceutical companies had achieved vaccines that at least a 90 per cent effectiveness rate.
With the 2020 seasons also facing disruption and changes to their formats, between a quarter and a third of those polled stated that the champions of baseball, basketball and ice hockey this year were “less deserving” than the winners of the previous year.
The National Football League was not included in this survey as the 2019-2020 season finished in February, before restrictions were imposed in the United States.
Its new season has started in September, meaning no champions were crowned during the pandemic in the US.
Since the pandemic struck, there have been nearly 12 million coronavirus cases in the US with more than 252,200 deaths.
Among sports fans, 27 per cent said the Los Angeles Dodgers were less deserving winners in baseball, while 31 per cent said he same for the Los Angeles Lakers in basketball and 24 per cent for the Tampa Bay Lightning in ice hockey.
There were also split opinions about the virtual fans shown at many live events with 27 per cent believing they were a good replacement for in-attendance fans, 26 per cent said they were not noticeable; and 11 per cent called them a distraction.
The National Basketball Association is due to get its 2020-2021 season underway in December without fans, while some National Football League teams have allowed limited spectators back in their stadiums too.