LAST UPDATE: MAY 5, 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

35% of Americans Feel Comfortable Attending a Sporting Event: With limited crowds heading to MLB ballparks and MLS stadiums across the country, 35 percent of Americans said in an April 29-May 1 poll that they’d feel comfortable attending a sporting event given the state of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s up 1 percentage point from the prior week and represents a new high-water mark since Morning Consult started tracking comfort attending sporting events in June 2020.

Baby Boomers’ Confidence Attending Events Spikes: Twenty-nine percent of baby boomers said in the latest survey that they’d be comfortable attending sporting events, a 3-point increase from the prior week and a new high for the generation. The share of millennials and Gen Xers comfortable attending sporting events, however, decreased by 1 point and and 3 points, respectively.

Half of Sports Fans Are Ready for Outdoor, Limited-Capacity Events: With an attendance of more than 50,000 fans, the Kentucky Derby recently became the most-attended sporting event since the onset of the pandemic in the United States. In the latest poll, 55 percent of sports fans said they would be comfortable attending a limited-capacity sporting event, while 54 percent said they would be comfortable attending an outdoor sporting event. However, fewer sports fans said they would be comfortable attending an indoor event (38 percent), or  a full-capacity event (31 percent). 

More Than Half of Sports Fans Are Excited to Attend Games: While many sports fans aren’t yet comfortable with the idea of attending a live sporting event, 55 percent indicated they are excited about the opportunity to do so when the pandemic subsides, including 32 percent who said they are “very” excited.

35% of Americans Would Be Comfortable Attending a Sporting Event Right Now
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%.

29% of Baby Boomers Would Now Be Comfortable Attending a Sporting Event
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%.

More Than Half of Sports Fans Feel Safe Going to Limited-Capacity, Outdoor Games
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%.

55% of Fans Are Excited to Return to Sporting Events
The share of respondents who said they are excited about the opportunity to go to a sporting event when the pandemic is under control and the economy has fully reopened
Poll conducted April 29-May 1, 2021, among 2,200 U.S. adults with 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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