Sports poll: 74 percent of Americans are unlikely to attend games right now even if government restrictions are lifted

Just how willing are sports fans to return to stadiums and arenas and watch their favorite teams?

In a 538/Ipsos Sports Poll of 1,109 adults, 74 percent of respondents said they were unlikely to attend a sporting game or event in person right now even if government restrictions were lifted -- and 58 percent of them responded that they were not at all likely to attend.

Survey: 538/Ipsos Sports Poll

The poll was conducted May 5-11 and represented a sample of adults age 18 or older. It was was conducted in English and Spanish and the responses weighted to adjust for gender by age, race, education, Census region, metropolitan status and household income

Even if there was a COVID-19 vaccine, a little more than a quarter of the respondents (26 percent) said it would not help them to feel comfortable with attending a game or event in person. Roughly 40 percent said such things as enforcing social-distancing, wearing masks or requiring temperature checks would not help. Roughly one in four respondents said each of the major sports should only restart after a vaccine is available.

The breakdown on when soccer should resume:

Immediately 10%
As soon as the government says it is OK 17%
Once the coronavirus outbreak is under control 45%
After a vaccine is available 26%
Skipped question 1%

The poll also asked about fan interest in seven major sports as well as how often they watched or attended games or events? Almost one in third said they watched soccer, which ranked fourth behind only football, baseball and basketball. In all, 29 percent of the respondents said they were soccer fans and 12 percent said they attended at least a couple of games a year before the coronavirus pandemic.

How much of a fan, if at all, are you of the following sports?
1. Football 65% (Major 24, Casual Fan 21, Follow a little 19, Don't follow 35)
2. Baseball 54% (Major 12, Casual Fan 19, Follow a little 23, Don't follow 45)
3. Basketball 48% (Major 10, Casual Fan 16, Follow a little 22, Don't follow 52)
4. Soccer 29% (Major 4, Casual Fan 8, Follow a little 17, Don't follow 70)
4. Ice Hockey 29% (Major 4, Casual Fan 8, Follow a little 16, Don't follow 71)
6. Golf 23% (Major 4, Casual Fan 7, Follow a little 13, Don't follow 76)
7. NASCAR 22% (Major 3, Casual Fan 7, Follow a little 13, Don' follow 77)

Before the coronavirus outbreak, how often did you watch games or events on TV or streaming?
1. Football 68% (Several times a week 16, Weekly 19, Couple of times a month 11, Major events 22, Never 32)
2. Baseball 53% (Several times a week 10, Weekly 8, Couple of times a month 12, Major events 23, Never 45)
3. Basketball 49% (Several times a week 8, Weekly 7, Couple of times a month 10, Major events 24, Never 50)
4. Soccer 32% (Several times a week 4, Weekly 3, Couple of times a month 5, Major events 20, Never 68)
5. Ice Hockey 28% (Several times a week 3, Weekly 3, Couple of times a month 6, Major events 16, Never 70)
6. Golf 26% (Several times a week 2, Weekly 3, Couple of times a month 5, Major events 16, Never 74)
7. NASCAR 25% (Several times a week 1, Weekly 3, Couple of times a month 6, Major events 15, Never 74)

Before the coronavirus outbreak, how often did you attend games or events in person?
1. Baseball 34% (Several times a week 2, Weekly 1, Couple of times a month 5, Couple of times a season 26, Never 32)
2. Football 26% (Several times a week 2, Weekly 3, Couple of times a month 3, Couple of times a season 18, Never 73)
3. Basketball 22% (Several times a week 2, Weekly 1, Couple of times a month 3, Couple of times a season 16, Never 78)
4. Ice Hockey 13% (Several times a week 1, Weekly *, Couple of times a month 1, Couple of times a season 11, Never 86)
5. Soccer 12% (Several times a week 1, Weekly 1, Couple of times a month 2, Couple of times a season 8, Never 88)
6. Golf 7% (Several times a week 1, Weekly 1, Couple of times a month 1, Major events 4, Never 93)
6. NASCAR 7% % (Several times a week 1, Weekly 1, Couple of times a month 1, Couple of times a season 4, Never 93)

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