LAST UPDATE: JULY 28, 2021

Tracking the Return to Normal: Sports

Morning Consult is tracking Americans' comfort attending sporting events in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
By: Alex Silverman

 

This tracker is part of a series from Morning Consult gauging when consumers will return to normal activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and sign up for alerts.

After going to incredible lengths to return to play, sports properties and teams continue to face major challenges as the pandemic drags on. Chief among them is the limited ability to host fans in stadiums and arenas. Gate revenue alone has accounted for more than a quarter of the overall pie in recent non-pandemic years, excluding related items like concessions, parking and on-site sponsorship. Sports properties will need to provide fans with peace of mind about coming together in stadiums and arenas as soon as they are able to re-open their doors.

Morning Consult is tracking pent-up demand and excitement for many of the activities listed on this page. Bookmark this page for weekly updates of these figures, and read our deep dive on which industries will see a post-pandemic boom in consumer demand.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Delta Variant Driving Decline in ‘Net Comfort’ Attending Events: With news of the Delta variant becoming more prominent, 42% of Americans said in the latest survey they’d feel comfortable attending a sporting event given the state of the coronavirus pandemic, a decline of 1 percentage point from last week and the second down week in a row. Meanwhile, the share of U.S. adults who said they’d be uncomfortable was 48%, up 3 percentage points week over week and putting the population’s “net comfort” at minus 6.

Share of Millennials Comfortable Attending Games Stagnates: In the latest survey, 53% of millennials said they would be comfortable attending a sporting event, marking the fourth straight week in which comfort among millennials has remained stagnant. Meanwhile, the 36% of baby boomers who said they would feel OK attending a game was up 2 points from the previous week, while comfort among Gen Xers dropped 1 point to 44%.

Sports Fans’ Comfort at Indoor, Outdoor Events Takes A Downward Turn: ln the most recent survey, the share of sports fans comfortable attending an indoor sporting event dropped 5 points from the prior week to 46%, while the share comfortable attending an outdoor sporting event dropped 6 points to 58%. Similarly, the share of sports fans who said they would feel OK attending a full-capacity event fell 3 points to 43%, while comfort attending a limited-capacity event fell 5 points in the past week to 57%.

42% of U.S. Adults Are Comfortable Attending a Game Right Now
The share of respondents who said they feel comfortable going to a sporting event today
Weekly surveys are conducted among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults and have a margin of error of +/-2%.

Comfort Attending Games Continues to Decline Among Gen Xers
The share of respondents who said they feel comfortable going to a sporting event right now
Weekly surveys are conducted among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults and have a margin of error of +/-2%.

58% of Sports Fans Feel Safe Going to Outdoor Events Amid MLB, MLS Seasons
The share of sports fans who said they feel comfortable going to a sporting event right now
Weekly surveys are conducted among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults and have a margin of error of +/-2%.

tracking the return to normal

When will things return to normal and what will our new normal look like? It’s a question that business, economic and government leaders are grappling with as more and more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

To help answer this complicated question, Morning Consult is tracking how consumer attitudes are shifting across a wide range of categories, from travel to entertainment to dining, to gain greater insight into not only when consumers will be ready to return to their normal activities, but how their habits will be forever changed. We’ll be updating these pages every week with new data and analyses. Sign up for alerts below.

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