Should Fans be Allowed to Attend Sporting Events? 

Should Fans be Allowed to Attend Sporting Events? 

Sergio Romero, Staff Writer

There has been great debate among major sports leagues and the public on whether there should be fans attending games because of COVID-19, and both sides have valid reasons as to why. Not allowing fans in the stands also has major effects other than the spread of the virus. 

In my opinion, fans should be allowed to attend games but in a limited capacity. On the professional level, there is great financial loss that comes with not allowing fans to attend games. According to a report by ESPN reporter, Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA lost around 1.5 billion dollars as a result of the shutdown, the cancellation of 171 regular season games, and completing the season in a “bubble” at Walt Disney World in Orlando without fans. In the NFL, the current season without fans is projected to lose tens of millions of dollars across the league. The MLB 60 game regular season resulted in a 3.1-billion-dollar loss of revenue, which is already showing it’s affects in free agency.  Some professional teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs are already allowing fans in limited capacity for the regular season, and the MLB also allowed fans in the new Texas Rangers stadium for the World Series. On the collegiate level, some teams, such as Notre Dame and Georgia, are allowing fans in a limited capacity as well. 

Although college football teams are allowing fans, they have recently violated certain protocols. Last week, when number 4 ranked Notre Dame beat number 1 ranked team Clemson at home, almost the entire stadium rushed the field and pictures soon spread across social media. Another instance of violations came during week 1 of the SEC football season when Auburn visited Georgia. During the game, most fans appeared mask less with little to no social distancing. Although there have been many violations by fans there is an easy solution, only family of the players and coaches can attend games. This gives the team some revenue and it also creates the atmosphere of fans. This can also apply to the high school level, especially here as the amount of COVID cases continues to go up in the Central Valley.  

There are many high school sports leagues that do allow fans in the stands, but they are much more socially distant and safe than professional and collegiate levels. Fresno and the surrounding towns and cities are also faced with the same issue of whether fans should be allowed to attend games. As of now, it doesn’t look very promising as cases of COVID-19 in the Central Valley continue to rise. This brings me back to my previous point of only allowing family of the players and coaches so there isn’t as much of a risk of spreading the virus.  

As long as people follow COVID guidelines, a limited number of fans allowed in the stands is a good idea for those who want to attend games and the leagues that don’t want to lose money, as of now.