However, while they are pleased to see games again, they’re not sure how long it will last, a survey conducted for ESPN found.
A little more than 60% agree they are “happy to have some sports to watch as an escape,” according to the survey of 837 adults conducted by TideWatch for ESPN. Only 37% say it “seems wrong for some professional sports to be taking place” during a pandemic.
Asked if it’s time for sports leagues to return “as long as they take proper precautions,” 57% are in favor, compared to 43% who think sports are restarting too quickly.
But when asked if the seasons will be completed, fans are less confident. Only 49% of MLB fans surveyed feel that the sport will complete its World Series, which is scheduled to wrap up in late October. A larger percentage of NBA fans — 58% — think the NBA will finish its season in the bubble at Walt Disney World Resort. That season is scheduled to wrap up no later than Oct. 13.
A majority of fans in both the NBA and Major League Baseball think the champion will be legitimate … though not by a large majority. A total of 57% of NBA fans think the champ will be legitimate despite it being held at a neutral site. A total of 56% of MLB fans think so for baseball, which is considering a bubble of its own for the postseason but has not made any final decisions.
The wide-ranging survey of sports fans 18-and-over was conducted by TideWatch for ESPN. It included a base sample of 537 interviews, and an additional over sample of 300 interviews with Black fans, who were then weighted into their proper proportion of the population.