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Poll says 72 percent of Americans would not attend games until coronavirus vaccine developed

Major League Baseball Suspends Spring Training

JUPITER, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: St. Louis Cardinals fans cheer after the spring training game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on March 12, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. Major League Baseball is suspending Spring Training and the first two weeks of the regular season due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

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A poll conducted by The Sharkey Institute at Seton Hall University found that 72 percent of respondents would not attend sports games until a cure for coronavirus (COVID-19) is developed. 12 percent would attend if social distancing practices were instituted and 13 said they would attend, feeling as safe as they had prior to the pandemic.

The sample size was 762 respondents, 348 of which responded from a landline phone and 414 responded via cell phone.

76 percent of respondents felt the leagues acted at the right time to shut down operations and an additional 16 percent felt that the leagues didn’t act quickly enough. Also of interest, 76 percent of fans said they would have the same interest in sports even if they are played without fans.

This poll is of interest, of course, to those running national sports leagues, including Major League Baseball. In recent days, we have learned that MLB was considering having an abbreviated schedule play out entirely in Arizona. Other ideas floated have included running the schedule deep into the fall, playing in largely warm-weather areas, and making use of frequent doubleheaders. Sports leagues and their associated business interests are losing money every day due to the pandemic, so it is understandable why many are willing to get creative to put on a show.

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