With all of 2020 Spring and Summer athletic events postponed or canceled, what will sports look like this fall? Although there are no definite answers, for now, it can be assumed that the fan experience will need to be different.
As long as we’re still in a place where social distancing is encouraged, one option for teams if play resumes, would be to implement “checkerboard seating”. A concept introduced from a website that would distance fans and reduce the likelihood of disease spreading.
Another option discussed by the Athletic has been the use of thermal detectors, which would be able to show a fan’s body temperature upon entry, in real-time. Although this option would be for use farther in the future, some airports in Asia are already using this method for passengers.
A different article by Crain’s Cleveland Business discusses the possibility of fans having to prove they don’t have the virus or would need to show that they’ve recovered from it previously.
Mark Miller, CEO of TicketSocket said “Whether it’s a digital certificate or a wristband, that typically sounds really bad, but this has actually been done before.”
Without more accessible testing or a vaccine, it seems that sports returning without fans may be our best hope for the rest of the year. Even then, it would be difficult to ensure all players, coaches, media and other personnel stay healthy.