Most adult sports fans are now confident in the safety of sporting events
For the first time in Kantar Sports MONITOR’s tracking of COVID-19, a majority of U.S. adult sports fans—54%—indicated they were extremely or very confident in the safety of attending a sporting event in their area. This is up from 40% in April and a low of 29% in October, 2020.
Extremely/very confident that attending a sporting event in my area is safe today (all sports fans, 18+)
Concerns remain about bars/restaurants, indoor arenas, and especially gyms
While confidence in the safety of sporting events is growing, adult sports fans remain cautious about other sports-related activities. Roughly two-thirds of fans are comfortable with small get-togethers with friends/family and attending an outdoor sporting event, but they remain uncomfortable about larger or more crowded endeavors such as attending an indoor sporting events, watching a game at a bar or restaurant or working out a gym.
Casual fans lag behind avid fans in confidence in sporting events
At this point in the road to pandemic recovery, the most avid, engaged adult sports fans are the “first movers” when it comes to confidence and, presumably, interest in attending sporting events. Just 10% of avid fans are either “not very” or “not confident at all” in the safety of sporting events in their area today; in contrast, it’s nearly one-fourth of casual fans (23%).
The sports industry should be encouraged by the upward trajectory in fan confidence about sporting events and should expect that it will only grow in parallel with the number of vaccinations in the U.S. Still, the road to recovery from the pandemic remains fraught, especially among more casual fans, who will need to be assured that crowds are safe after more than a year of pandemic living. Indoor venues, restaurants/bars, and especially gyms will likely need to pay special attention to the concerns of hygiene-minded, risk-averse Americans as we transition out of the most disruptive event of many Americans’ lifetimes.