The future of sports events, concerts, movies and amusement parks, even when they reopen to the public, remains questionable. According to a new poll from Reuters/Ipsos released earlier this week, less than half those polled were willing to revisit these entertainment options before a vaccine was available.
Specifically, the poll found that only four in ten “who follow sports avidly” and go to other entertainment venues would do so before a vaccine was available. Another four in ten said they were willing to wait, “even if it takes more than a year to develop a vaccine.”
The poll showed that only 27% of those questioned would go to a movie theater, concert or live theater performance when venues reopen. Thirty-two percent said they would wait for a vaccine before going back to the movies, theater or concerts.
The remainder were undecided, or said they may never attend those events again.
“Just because people say we can go back, until people feel fully safe … they aren’t going to go back,” said Victor Matheson, a specialist in sports economics at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts.
Matheson continued, “We go to games for entertainment and you’re not going to be very entertained if you’re not worrying about who the next player to bat is and instead worrying about that person who just coughed two rows down.”
While as many as 100 potential vaccines are in development around the world, scientists are projecting that bringing one to market could take 18 months.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 4,429 American adults from April 15 to 21, asking about their previous attendance at sports events and live concerts and their interest in attending if they reopened before a coronavirus vaccine is available. The poll questions noted a vaccine might not be available for more than a year.