Once our governments allow us to open the stadium doors, will the fans come back?
The last issue of CX Monthly offered several insightful stories about post-pandemic ticketing. For this issue, we are sharing several stories about the one intangible that none of us yet understand – fear.
No doubt that a vaccine will make a big difference – but what percent of the Spanish population will have been vaccinated prior to the beginning of next season? Are we going to limit access only to those that have been vaccinated? Or received a negative COVID test before the match? (2 days, 1 days, or only hours prior?).
Now that our fans are used to watching games on television, or highlights on their phone, will they be willing to deal with the hassles of attending games in person? Will older fans that may have trouble using a digital wallet adapt to paperless ticketing and contactless access control?
If you don’t verify vaccination or a negative test, will people (especially over 60) be willing to take the risk that the person next to them has COVID? Are we going to dismiss social separation, staggered entry and other tactics to keep people apart?
No matter what we do, how will we overcome the reality that a significant percentage of our traditional fan base will be reluctant to come back…because of fear.
Recall the Harris Interactive study we shared in the last issue of CX Monthly, which revealed that approximately 30% of Spanish respondents said they were either “not at all comfortable” or “not very comfortable” with the idea of attending games in person.
The second data set from the Harris study revealed several steps that would make fans feel more comfortable to attend – but all of these actions (such as hand sanitizers, mask wearing, social distancing, contactless payment, etc.) were pre-vaccine/no test verification.
These stories are about the next reality. Once we are in “back to normal” mode, do we assume that all of those measures will be eliminated? And then what? Will fear still keep a large percentage of people away?