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Vast majority of Americans would not attend games without coronavirus vaccine, poll says

Nearly three out of four polled said they would not feel comfortable.

Sixty-one percent of sports fans said they would not attend games without a vaccine for COVID-19.
Sixty-one percent of sports fans said they would not attend games without a vaccine for COVID-19.Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

A striking majority of Americans, nearly three out of four, would rather stay home than go to a stadium or an arena to watch sports without a coronavirus vaccine, according to a new Seton Hall Sports Poll released on Thursday.

Seventy-two percent of Americans said they would stay away from a sports event if it were held before a vaccine is developed. Even if the seating arrangements allowed for social distancing, just 12 percent would be comfortable with that setup.

Responses from sports fans from the nationwide phone survey still indicated a strong majority — 61 percent — would avoid events without a vaccine.

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In a release, Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, said, “This virus has the attention and respect of the nation. Those who identify as sports fans, at all levels of interest, line up closely with the general population in regard to their own safety and that of the players.”

The survey was conducted this week, between Monday and Wednesday, and reached 762 Americans, with poll organizers establishing a margin of error 3.6 percent.

Other highlights from the survey: Just 6 percent said if social distancing extends into the fall, the NFL should start as planned. Seventy percent said it should not start at all.

Regarding teams paying stadium workers for games missed, 59 percent said teams are obligated, with 33 percent saying they’re not.

Eighty-four percent were in favor of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics being pushed back a year.



Michael Silverman can be reached at michael.silverman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeSilvermanBB