Celebrating the Return of Fans in the World of Sports

May 31 00:25 2021 Print This Article

An all-sports campaign is being held to celebrate the return of fans to live sporting events. Dubbed “For the Love of Sport”, the campaign is being held by multiple organizations across all sports. The campaign will include a display of “We’re Fan Ready” logo’s to be displayed on the grounds and at all sporting venues across the country.

This includes venues hosting tennis, football, and other sporting events.

The government Step 3 guidelines specify that up to a quarter of capacity or 10,000 fans maximum will now be allowed in live event sports stadiums as from last week. The limit attendance is 1,000 fans or 50 percent for smaller outdoor venues. The announcement is in line with the increased pace of the vaccination program.

The new campaign is set to welcome fans of sports back to the fields and grounds to witness the sports they love. Despite the lifting of the restrictions, fans still have to go through procedures and checks before being allowed into the live event venues. For this reason, delays are being witnessed in every event.

LTA and other sporting bodies for other types of sports have already advised fans to travel and arrive early to the events to avoid any inconveniences and delays in watching their loved sports.

The logo to be put in every event location will remind the fans that all measures are in place in every field and ground to ensure their health and safety. These measures are in line with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and government guidance.

The event will also remind fans that they still need to observe COVID-19 protocols by ensuring they use the designated seats to maintain the social distancing.

Fans resume in tennis sports across the country

The LTA is already resuming all indoor and outdoor matches and competitions across the country following the announcement. It has already published guidelines for players, tennis coaches, and competition organizers. Spectating will also be allowed for all in-door games in line with the Step 3 guidance. The resumption of sporting activities includes tennis activities at school and out of school. It also includes competitions for children and adults.

Venues will need to observe a maximum of 4,000 or 50% capacity. All venues will be required to conduct risk assessments of the facilities and take action to protect players, coaches, and fans against COVID-19. They must also keep records of all staff and customers working at the venues to enhance tracing.

First aid and hospitality facilities should be availed and kept at accessible distances at the venues. Players are also required to conduct tests for indoor tennis games under certain circumstances.

Large crowds are already attending all events

Tennis and other sporting stadiums are now witnessing crowds after the government lifted total bans on life event attendance from last week. These bans were related to coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. The government will also be announcing additional easing of the bans next week.

Royal Ascot and Epsom Derby racing meetings witnessed large crowds following the reopening. Also, the PGA Championship witnessed crowds on Sunday as Phil Mickelson lifted the championship. Thousands of spectators turned up to witness the game at the 18th green at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. The crowds were even larger than had been witnessed before COVID-19 lockdowns.

The FA football event, for instance, which starts next month at Wembley, is set to attract at least 25,000 fans in every game. This is according to the FA sources, which said that FA hopes to increase the capacity to 45,000 before the competition reaches the semi-finals and final in July.

Following the easing of lockdowns also, all the sports are already witnessing a large number of fans so far including the last EPL matches. Fans are now returning to stadiums in live sporting events from last week in line with the government’s out-of-lockdown roadmap.

Last week, for instance, all EPL teams played in front of their fans during their last 2020/2021 season games. EPL had postponed the matches to last week in anticipation of the lifting of the restrictions. For that reason, 10,000 fans attended the match between Manchester United and Fulham.

Wembley was also live with noise and crowds as 22,000 spectators attended the FA cup lifted by Leicester for the first time. It is the biggest attendance so far in football live events since the lifting of the restrictions. 8,000 fans attended the Carabao cup final at Wembley.

Premier League CEO Richard Masters said fans had missed the events following the lockdowns. He hoped to see fans return at full capacity next season. Masters announced that they will work with the government to ensure that was achieved.

Protocols still to be observed

Each fan that picks a ticket to attend events will have to provide details for NHS Test and Trace. Those instructed to self-isolate must not attend these events. The same case applies to anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 including high temperature, new and continuous cough, and loss of smell or taste senses.

People who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 will also be required to stay away from LTA and non-LTA live events until they are proven to have no symptoms or tested negative to the virus infection.

For all LTA and non-LTA events, the hosts will ensure that the environment is kept safe and in adherence to provisions by SGSA and the government. For instance, all facilities and grounds will still need to be sanitized. All fans will be required to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and regularly wash their hands.

Fans will need to consider their health status before attending LTA and non-LTA live events. For instance, choosing to stay at home when infected or feeling uncomfortable with the risks of attending the events.

Eating is not allowed around in stadiums unless in designated café areas or when seated in the designated seat. The stadiums will still need to install hand-washing and sanitization facilities across the fields and grounds. Already, all the fields seeing large attendance have installed alcohol gel stations across the sites.

All fields and grounds will also have signage remaining the ticket holders of the needs to observe the guidelines to guide against the spread of COVID-19.

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