Last week Seton Hall University conducted a poll asking fans their level of concern attending a sporting event after the threat of COVID-19 is gone. The Stillman School of Business canvassed what fans would do if the leagues resumed play before there was a coronavirus vaccine? The results were lopsided.
72% of those who responded to the poll said they would not feel safe attending games until a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is developed.
Asked what they would do if the leagues resumed play before there was a vaccine, 12 percent said in the poll released on Thursday that they would attend but only if social distancing could be maintained.
Only 13 percent said they would feel safe. The poll run by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business was conducted over April 6-8 with 762 respondents. -Steve Keating, Reuters
The university polled under 800 sports fans who overwhelmingly showed hesitation about returning to a venue without a successful vaccine. Something, we’re all concerned with. However, the numbers seemed broad, and possibly too regional. Seton Hall is in New Jersey, a state devastated by the coronavirus, and the poll participants were mostly sports enthusiasts from the NY/NJ area.
So, we decided to get a little more precise and ask a similar question to Golden Knights fans. The results were optimistically different.
When the NHL pause ends, which describes your willingness to go to a game at T-Mobile Arena?
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) April 12, 2020
With over 2300 votes, the SinBin.vegas poll found a much different response than the one conducted back East. Surprisingly, 48% clicked they would feel safe returning to a Golden Knights game after the league resumed and 70% said they would be willing to attend a game. Compared to the 13% of respondents from the Seton Hall poll.
I figured this poll would be polar opposite of the "official" poll some university performed with "sports fans" a few days ago. I think this poll better represents sports fan's thoughts.
— Tommy (@VegasTommy) April 12, 2020
Locally, Vegas residents are proactively isolating and keeping their distance as the governor told us to. However, many believe this is only temporary and the poll positively reflects that.
I’m pretty much at the front entrance when this happens(hopefully sooner than fall)
— Cass (@cassieloves1013) April 12, 2020
Some were shocked by the enthusiastic, almost cavalier-type attitude by the majority of voters that would return to a Golden Knights game with zero to little fear.
It may come off to some that Golden Knights fans are ignoring the current state of affairs, but to the contrary, certain models suggest social distancing is working here in the valley.
By no means are Las Vegas locals naive to the coronavirus, they’re simply optimistic about their safety when the T-Mobile Arena reopens. When the government, league, and franchise deem large gatherings are no longer harmful, fans should feel comfortable attending a game. There’s too much risk opening up to the public prematurely.
Hopefully, that’s sooner than later, and the conditions will settle the concerns of every fan.