Seton Hall sports poll: Fans still in favor of COVID protocols at games
More Americans are interested in social distance seating than any other potential coronavirus safety protocol when attending a live sporting event, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll.
But come June 4, no venues in the Garden State will be restricted by any capacity limits. So will they be able to pack the house when the next big game comes to town?
When asked whether teams should require that attendees show proof of vaccination, 53% of poll respondents were in favor. Fifty-two percent of the general population are in favor of wearing masks while attending sporting events, and 68% give the thumbs-up to seating for those who wish to keep a distance from others.
For all three measures, approval was higher among self-described sports fans and avid fans.
"Psychologically, we're not past this yet," said Daniel Ladik, poll methodologist and a professor of marketing at Seton Hall University in South Orange. "We want to move forward, at the same time everybody is still incredibly cautious."
The six-foot social distancing requirement was scratched on May 28. Prior to that day, the New York Jets and New York Giants, who play their home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, said they're thrilled to run the stadium at full capacity for the 2021 season.
"We can't wait to welcome our fans back, creating the gameday atmosphere we have all been missing," the teams said. "We will continue to work to ensure the return of fans is accomplished in a safe and responsible way."
The indoor capacity limitation for indoor large venues, such as Prudential Center in Newark, goes away on June 4.
In the poll conducted May 21 to May 24, 51% of the general population said they'd be willing to attend an outdoor sporting event if they were vaccinated and the venue had both face-covering and social-distancing requirements in place. Forty-two percent would attend an indoor event with such measures in place.
Those unwilling to attend were not asked whether they find these protocols onerous or they just don't feel comfortable attending an event during a lingering pandemic, but the percentage of Americans willing to attend with all three protocols in place has been on the rise since November.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.