Nearly 55 percent of fans are ready to return to live events today with another 45 percent cautiously optimistic to come back within the year once events return if crowd sizes are limited and social distanced seating options are offered, according to a survey from Experience, an Atlanta-based mobile ticketing app. Based on this data, the sports and live event industries should expect fans to rebound.

Other key findings include:

  • 54 percent of those ready to return to live events today demand cleaner venues with 35 percent stating they would expect health checkpoints onsite;
  • For fans who owned season tickets in the past year, 60 percent would require ticket investment guarantees to return, such as refundable tickets and flexible return policies; 30 percent want socially distanced seating in order to renew their commitment;
  • 43 percent of all fans surveyed want the option to return tickets for credit to future events should cancellation become necessary;
  • Nearly two-thirds of fans not yet ready to return said they would require socially distanced seating in order to attend a live event;
  • Revenue outlook for ticketing shows an overall decline as nearly 1-in-3 fans would actively seek cheaper seats with purchases of single-event tickets higher than in prior seasons;
  • In-venue food and beverage will see a slower return, with up to 30 percent of fans indicating they would spend less while at an event; and
  • 20 percent of all fans surveyed carry some uncertainty and still don’t know the impact of COVID-19 on their future event tendencies.

“Teams and venues have the unique opportunity to build a greater sense of loyalty with fans in support of a safe return to events,” said Junior Gaspard, chief executive officer for Experience. “Implementing flexible ticketing options, including giving fans the ability to return tickets or gain a refund on tickets, can help drive crowds back to events. The data also indicates smaller ticketing packages and single event ticket programs will have more appeal in the short term and should be considered proactively.”

Gaspard also noted that venues must implement enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols and clearly communicate these changes to assure fans. For many, this is more important than limiting crowd sizes or socially distanced seating arrangements in the venue.

To request a copy of the COVID-19 study, go here.

Photo courtesy Catering Insight