ATLANTA /PRNewswire/ — Nearly 55 percent of fans are ready to return to live events today, with another 45 percent cautiously optimistic to come back within the year once events return if crowd sizes are limited and social distanced seating options are offered. Based on this data, the sports and live event industries should expect fans to rebound in two distinct waves.
These are among new survey findings from Atlanta-based Experience, measuring fan preferences and timing for returning to live events in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other key discoveries include:
- 54 percent of those ready to return to live events today demand cleaner venues, with 35 percent stating they would expect health checkpoints onsite;
- For fans who owned season tickets in the past year, 60 percent will require ticket investment guarantees to return, such as refundable tickets and flexible return policies; 30 percent want socially distanced seating in order to renew their commitment;
- 43 percent of all fans surveyed want the option to return tickets for credit to future events should cancellation become necessary;
- Nearly two-thirds of fans not yet ready to return said they would require socially distanced seating in order to attend a live event;
- Revenue outlook for ticketing shows an overall decline, as nearly 1 in 3 fans will actively seek cheaper seats, with purchases of single-event tickets higher than in prior seasons;
- In-venue food and beverage will see a slower return, with up to 30 percent of fans indicating they will spend less while at an event; and,
- 20 percent of all fans surveyed carry some uncertainty and still don’t know the impact of COVID-19 on their future event tendencies
“Teams and venues have the unique opportunity to build a greater sense of loyalty with fans in support of a safe return to events,” said Junior Gaspard, chief executive officer for Experience. “Implementing flexible ticketing options, including giving fans the ability to return tickets or gain a refund on tickets, can help drive crowds back to events. The data also indicates smaller ticketing packages and single event ticket programs will have more appeal in the short term and should be considered proactively.”
Gaspard also notes that venues must implement enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols and clearly communicate these changes to assure fans. For many, this is more important than limiting crowd sizes or any sort of social distanced seating arrangements in the venue.
Free Webinar for COVID-19 Fan Impact Study
On Friday, June 12 at 1 pm ET, Experience will host a free webinar to review the COVID-19 Fan Impact Study. Register now by visiting expapp.com/webinar. To request a copy of the COVID-19 study, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Research
Experience leveraged Qualtrics technology to field the survey from April 24 – May 3, asking more than 800 fans, ages 18 to 65+, about their comfort level returning to live events and to understand the impact on ticketing preference and spend. All those surveyed had confirmed attendance at a professional or NCAA sporting event in the past 12 months.
Experience is reshaping the ticketing industry, empowering professional sports teams and live entertainment venues to unlock inventory opportunities, amplify the value of every ticket, and give fans better experiences through ticketing flexibility and subscriptions. Whether multi-event subscriptions, single-event tickets, guest tickets, returns, upgrades or more, the Experience product suite gives fans unparalleled flexibility to access live events on their terms, while teams control the inventory. Founded in 2011, Experience is a two-time winner of the SBJ Sports Business Awards and 2019 Atlanta Inno winner. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter at @ExpApp or visit expapp.com for more information.