A new survey suggests that 40 percent of people who regularly buy tickets for live events will avoid returning until a coronavirus vaccine is available – which could take at least 18 months.
The study, carried out by Reuters/Ipsos, concluded that another four in 10 would return to concerts, sporting events and amusement parks as soon as the option was presented to them, while the remaining 20 percent weren’t sure or have decided never to return.
The results show that more than 80 percent of ticket buyers will purchase them again in the future – though the majority of those sales will depend on a cure for COVID-19 being readily available.
“Just because people say we can go back, until people feel fully safe … they aren’t going to go back,” sports economist Victor Matheson told Reuters. Pointing out that the purpose of attending sports and other live events was “for entertainment,” he added, “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.”
In the survey of Americans – including those who didn’t regularly attend live events – 27 percent said they’d go to a concert, theater performance or a movie if venues reopened before a vaccine arrived, while 32 percent said they’d wait for the vaccine. A total of 55 percent believe that no events should take place until medication was available.
Reuters reported that more than 100 potential vaccines are under development around the world, but the complexities of testing for efficiency and side effects, along with the process of scaling manufacture and distribution, mean a cure might not be available until the last quarter of 2021.