88% of sports fans would return to live events now – Access All Areas

A survey conducted by government agency UK Sport has found that 97% of sports fans will attend live events again.

More than 50,000 sports fans in the UK responded to the Return To Major Sports survey, with three-quarters of the respondents saying they would be happy to return to events within the next four months.

While 99% of respondents said they would attend an event held outdoors or at an outdoor stadium, 88% would also consider spectating an indoor event at this time.

Some 97% said live sports events are good for the nation’s morale and over 70% said they are excited to attend major events once again but 22% said they might feel anxious when attending.

The results also found that a clear refund policy is the main factor for spectators feeling confident to purchase a ticket, followed by being able to avoid long queues and the availability of hand sanitisers.

Public transport was raised as a concern, with 60% of respondents saying it would possibly stop them from attending events, while 58% held the event organiser responsible for maintaining a Covid-safe environment.

UK Sport acting deputy director Esther Britten said the agency will continue to “explore all options with Government on how to support the sector and bring spectators back into sporting venues safely and in line with the roadmap for easing restrictions.”

She added, “What is clear from the survey is that spectating at major events is about more than just watching sport – it brings people together, united under a shared purpose and part of something bigger than the individual.

“While the magic of being part of a crowd has not been possible for much of the past year, the results from this survey are positive for the future of the sports and events sector as they clearly show that fans are committed to returning to events as they cautiously begin to reopen.”

The survey, shared with over 30 different sports organisations, was carried out in two phases – the first in summer 2020 and then most recently from March 8-31.

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