The COVID-19 Pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges that most don’t see in their lifetimes. Small businesses shut their doors, millions were unemployed and sports was put on hold for a good amount of time. However, sports eventually returned and fans are slowly returning to the stadium. But how fast will stadiums see fans back at pre-pandemic level? Well, the answer to that is more complicated than one would expect it to be.
Partisanship in Sports
One of the main reasons we love sports is that it allows us to escape the world around us. But with the pandemic having an impact on every aspect of the world today, sports was thrown right into the mix of being on Fox News and CNN. Sports are now a part of the political dumpster fire.
In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbot opened up the state 100% with no mask mandates. As a result, the Texas Rangers opened up Globe Life Park at full capacity with masks required. Democrat states such as New York and California are only open at 10-25% capacity with very strict mask and social distancing protocols.
In short, if fans return to stadiums 100% or not partly depends on whether or not your state has a Republican or Democrat Governor. If you are in a state like New York, I wouldn’t anticipate seeing a packed Citi Field or Madison Square Garden anytime soon. The state has some of the strictest COVID lockdowns in the country and is reopening at a snail’s pace. If you live in a state such as Florida, fans should be able to return at full capacity in the next few months.
Unfortunately, politics has to play in the sports landscape but that’s the world we live in today. Fans returning to stadiums should not depend on the political parties. It should depend on facts and common sense.
The Vaccine Rollout
The other part of deciding whether or not fans return to stadiums is if the vaccine rollout is a success. So far it has been. In the U.S there have been 167 million doses of the vaccine administered with 62.4 million fully immune. Even though we’re only at 19% immunity, that number should grow substantially thanks to the Biden Administration allowing all adults to be eligible to receive the vaccine by April 19th. Great news in the fight to bring fans back to the stadium.
The United States should reach the 70% herd immunity number by the summertime. By then, there should be absolutely no excuse to not allow fans to see their favorite athletes in action.