UK Sport Fans Remain Divided on Returning to Venues

December 9, 2020

As sport welcomes supporters back into stadiums and venues in England this week, new research reveals the trepidation fans have about returning. A nationwide survey, commissioned by the public health and safety organisation NSF International reveals that 90% of people wouldn’t even consider attending sporting events, festivals or large gatherings over Christmas, regardless of whether restrictions allow it.

The news comes as football clubs in tier one and two areas of England prepare to allow a limited number of supporters into stadiums this weekend, following the end of a national lockdown and easing of restrictions.

However, an approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK proves to be good news for sports fans and venues. The survey found that confidence about attending such events hinges on an effective vaccination rollout. More than a third (36%) of Brits say they won’t attend sporting events until a vaccine has been successfully rolled out.

James Pink, Senior Director of NSF Health Sciences, commented: “As the UK navigates its way through varying levels of COVID restrictions, it’s clear from this data that public confidence in attending large gatherings is still very low, regardless of whether the official restrictions allow it. Sporting venues must do everything they can to follow independent health and safety guidelines to keep supporters safe and build consumer confidence once again. We know there will be necessary restrictions over the number of spectators welcomed back to live events, but now we also know part of the challenge will be making those spectators feel safe enough to buy a ticket.”

Methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Opinium. Total sample size was 2001 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken in November 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).