Seton Hall Poll: 72% of Americans Won't Attend Games Without COVID-19 Vaccine

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2020

AN OVERHEAD SHOT OF WRIGLEY FIELD IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, WITH ITS RESENTLY INSTALLED LIGHTS. MANDATORY CREDIT: JONATHAN DANIEL/ALLSPORT US
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The vast majority of Americans reportedly will not feel safe attending a live sporting event again until there is a vaccine developed for COVID-19.

According to a Seton Hall University poll, 72 percent of Americans asked said they would not attend games until the vaccine is developed. That number fell to 61 percent among sports fans, which is still a comfortable majority.

What's more, 12 percent said they would attend only if social distancing measures were in place, and a mere 13 percent said they would feel as safe attending as they did before the pandemic.

The poll also revealed 76 percent of the 762 Americans asked believe sports stopped play during the pandemic at the correct time, 16 percent said it was not quick enough, and six percent said it was too quick.

A head-turning 84 percent said postponing the 2020 Olympics was the right call.

"This virus has the attention and respect of the nation," Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, said. "Those who identify as sports fans, at all levels of interest, line up closely with the general population in regard to their own safety and that of the players."

While most Americans won't be ready to attend sporting events until there is a vaccine, the president took a different tone following a conference call with major league sports commissioners on Saturday.

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"I want fans back in the arenas," President Donald Trump said, per Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com. "I think it's ... whenever we're ready. As soon as we can, obviously. And the fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports. They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe nice, clean, beautiful fresh air."

Trump also said he is striving for fans to be back in stadiums by August or September for the start of the NFL season.

There likely will not be a vaccine anytime soon, especially by August or September.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), estimated the development of one would take 12 to 18 months, while other medical experts and scientists warned that may be too optimistic of a timeframe, per Robert Kuznia of CNN.

Until that happens, it seems many Americans will not be ready to go back into stadiums.

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