[Opinion] Fans are the face of sporting events

Ryan Shimony, Sports Editor

On March 12, 2020, the NBA postponed the season until July 30 due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the United States.

It all began when Utah Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for COVID-19, they were among the first athletes to test positive. After the outbreak in Salt Lake City, all sports across the United States were either postponed or canceled. 

Once sports were being held again, which was from late July to mid-August of 2020. One of the main questions raised was if fans would be allowed to attend. Initially, fans were not allowed in order to follow COVID-19 guidelines and keep people safe.

In order for everyone to be safe from the coronavirus, they have to social distance and wear masks. For example, seats will have to be spread out and when people get concessions they have to stay away from people.

 UPI FC Dallas, the Major League Soccer team from Dallas, Tx, was the first team to allow fans after the postponement of the season on Aug. 12. There were a total of 2,912 fans present at the game against Nashville SC.

Fans make such an important impact on games. Fans change losses to wins and wins to losses. When teams are home, fans try to distract the other team as much as possible. It is a far less entertaining experience for the athletes without hearing cheers and boos. Also, it takes out some of the fun of watching the games at home. 

It is strange watching a basketball game with nobody screaming when the away team is shooting free throws and saying defense when the other team has the ball.

Fans who attend games give some players motivation. For example, if fans are cheering players on when they make a big play, it may motivate them to make more plays like that. If fans boo because of a terrible play by their team, then players know that they need to step up.

Without fans attending games, it is not as fun watching games. Also, this does not help out team owners. Team owners are losing tons of money because nobody can purchase tickets or concessions. According to CBS News, NFL teams lost just less than $4,000,000 in revenue.

All states except for California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, Illinois, Minnesota and North Carolina are allowing fans. However, each state has different guidelines about how many fans are allowed to attend. Every state should allow the same amount of fans. Leagues should tell the owners how many people can attend games. This is because it is a big disadvantage for a team whose state only allows 10% capacity at games and another team can have up to 30%.

Due to the limited capacity at sporting events, it is not as hard for teams to play on the road. For example, when a football team goes to play in Seattle, it is very tough. Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, is the loudest stadium in the NFL and is nicknamed “12th man.” Now when a team goes to Lumen, it is a lot easier for them.

The main reason why fans aren’t returning to sporting events is that they do not feel safe due to COVID-19. People don’t feel safe to be surrounding each other. There should be no reason why fans can’t return to sporting events, as long as they are sitting six feet apart and are wearing masks.