The COVID-19 pandemic is still going on, but vaccinations around the world are slowly but surely giving us hope that life as we knew it can return to normal. Sports have been one of the hardest hit industries but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
Rob Harris, who is a global sports correspondent for the Associated Press, is reporting that the English Premier League is planning on having up to 10,000 fans in stadiums by season’s end. There’s a little more to it, but the tweets are as follows:
English stadiums with 40,000 seats will be allowed 10,000 fans and smaller ones will be allowed to be at 1/4 capacity from May 17 at the earliest under government plans— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) February 22, 2021
Big boost to England's hosting of Euros games at Wembley with June 21 earmarked by the government as the earliest date to lift limits on all social contact and (dependent on things like testing) restrictions on stadium capacities— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) February 22, 2021
Overall, this seems quite reasonable. The vaccination process in the United Kingdom is going quite well and the plan is to have all adults at least on their first vaccination by the end of July, as reported by The Independent:
UK speeds up vaccinations: All adults get 1st jab by July 31 https://t.co/pYoU8p0M5P— The Independent (@Independent) February 21, 2021
According to the official Coronavirus data site from the UK government, the 7-day rolling average for those getting their first shot is around 450,000 currently while cumulative numbers for those who have received both doses is just over 600,000. That bodes very well to getting the UK vaccinated against COVID-19 and easing further restrictions.
Tottenham Hotspur have been hit hard by the pandemic as the loss of matchday revenue is tough to overcome, but compared to smaller clubs in the English pyramid? They’re pretty well off. Daniel Levy has done what he can to minimize losses and things are at least stable, but getting fans back in the stadium will be paramount to bring revenue back up.
We’re approaching the one year mark when sports shut down around the world. While leagues have adjusted and some have let a small group come in to watch games and matches live, it’s been surreal watching games with empty arenas and stadiums. Personally, I’ve been a season ticket holder in the past for both Columbus Crew SC and the Blue Jackets and I miss going to both venues. I plan on going to live sports once I’m vaccinated, and while leagues are going to push hard to get stadiums to maximum capacity, they’ve largely listened and supported the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
One thing to note is that this timeline may allow the Carabao Cup to have fans in the stands as Spurs take on Manchester City in late April. We’ll have to see how Europa plays out as other countries roll out the vaccine, but you can bet Wembley won’t be behind closed doors at this rate.