We’ve seen several polls regarding fan attitudes entering the 2021 MLB season, and they all fall along the same lines: fans are comfortable in returning to live sports, especially outdoor events like baseball.
This poll from the Washington Post and the University of Maryland teamed up on a poll to determine fan attitudes at the start of the 2021 MLB season. The findings don’t differ that much from other poll results we’ve seen. While only 42 percent of Americans say they would be comfortable heading to a sporting event at this time, the number rises to 66 percent when it comes to outdoor events like baseball, and only 17 percent of respondents were uncomfortable at the thought of seeing outdoor baseball in person. (You can read the poll results here.) That number rises to 71 percent approval when it comes to self-identified sports fans, and 77 percent approval for those fans who have attended a sporting event in 2018-2021.
There are some limitations to this support: in general, attendees would feel more comfortable at a venue with reduced capacity (50 percent polls well, 20 percent polls even better), 64 percent of all fans want mandated mask usage, and 69 percent want to see attendance limited to fully vaccinated individuals. And another limit to fan support: a plurality doesn’t expect things to be back to normal until 2022, despite Rob Manfred’s optimism.
Again, the numbers are not surprising and in line with privately commissioned research within the sport.