By Josh Peters – With football season in limbo during the coronavirus pandemic, most Americans don’t expect to see NFL or college football games this fall, according to a recent Harris Poll.
Only 32% think the NFL will have a season and just 24% think college football will be played, according to data released by The Harris Poll, which said it surveyed 1,970 U.S. adults last weekend.
The poll suggested Americans are pessimistic about the ability of sports leagues play during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Case in point: Only 29% of Americans believe the NBA will be able to finish its season set to start July 30, and only 45 percent believe MLB will be able to complete its season scheduled to begin Thursday, according to Harris Poll.
The NBA’s season will include 22 teams playing eight regular-season games apiece before the playoffs begin and is scheduled to end no later than Oct. 13. All 30 MLB teams are set to play a 60-game schedule and the World Series will be complete no later than Oct. 28, according to the league’s schedule.
Meanwhile, less than half of Americans say they miss watching sports on TV, but gender proved to be a significant factor. While 58% of men said they miss watching sports, only 35% of women shared that sentiment.
“America craves a return to normalcy, and the sports leagues need the fans as much as the fans need to hear the crack of a bat or see a trophy being raised,” John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll, told USA Today via email. “But even with quarantine bubbles and daily testing, Americans think the virus may have the final say on if we crown a World Series Champion or see the start of a normal football season this fall.”
In response to a followup question, 56% said they think the move is “just for PR” while 44% say “it will make an impact.” Race was a significant factor, with 65% of Black Americans saying it will have a major impact and 36% of whites saying it won’t, while 64% of whites said it is just for PR and only 35% of Black Americans agreed with that.
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