Houston sports fans are eager to return to the stands, according to PSP survey

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January 17, 2020
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Over the last several weeks we’ve seen multiple nationally-focused surveys published regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the sports landscape, but the effects of and reactions to COVID-19 have varied greatly at the state and local levels. Professional Sports Partners set out to dive into our local market and get a feel for how Houston sports fans in particular are thinking about the pandemic and the return to sports.

From April 24 to May 5, we surveyed 178 people who live in the Greater Houston area and do not work in the sports industry. Questions gave fans an opportunity to voice their opinions and expectations of the future for teams, venues and sponsors. Below are a sampling of notable results from the poll.

  • 61% of respondents say they’ll purchase tickets to a sporting event in 2020 if/when leagues resume play (13% no, 26% undecided). This is a higher mark than the 48% of sports fans nationwide who said they would attend games in 2020 in a survey from the Morning Consult.
  • Season ticket holders seem to be in for the long haul – 92% of respondents with season tickets said they plan on renewing their seats for next season. More effort will be needed to convince active and casual non-STH fans to return. 29% are currently undecided if they’ll purchase tickets in 2020, but only 14% are saying “no” outright.
  • Providing hand sanitizer (95%) and implementing social distancing (69%) are the main requests from those who are undecided if they are going to attend sporting events during 2020.
  • When asked what they missed over the past month, Houston sports fans responded heavily with appointment viewing games/events: Opening Day for the Astros (61%), Rockets Playoff run (41%), and March Madness (40%) were by far the most selected events. When games resume – and when fans are allowed in the stands – will give teams and partners platforms to provide sports fans with a large communal event they’ve been missing.
  • Fans see teams and sponsors as community leaders and want to see them act as such. Charitable contributions, PPE donations and community support content led the way for the actions that fans wanted to see during this time.
  • Media consumption has increased across all demographics, but don’t expect new habits to replace live sports when they return: less than 5% of fans expect to watch fewer game broadcasts sports return, over 20% say they will actually watch more.

Contact us to learn more about how PSP’s insights and expertise can help your brand, venue or sports and entertainment property build strategic plans for our changing landscape.