Wednesday March 11th at 9:30ish PM the NBA suspended their season. Thursday March 12th the rest of the sports world followed suit. On Thursday May 14th, Edmonton commenced phase one of re-opening the economy. While major sporting events will not open up until phase three, what should we fans expect when the gates swing open?
Armed with the following presumptions – – fans will be allowed to attend games, social distancing will be mandated while thermal testing and masks are more than likely to be required – – I chatted with three of the biggest FC Edmonton supporters I know. Gord Walker, Nathan Terlesky, and Dallas Walker, all members of the River Valley Vanguard (RVV) which is the official supporters group of the Eddies, were each asked the million dollar question,
If & when the Eddies return, how do you picture it?
For Big Blue and the west side: 2 aisle seats on every row taped off. Sec 101 103 105 & 107… gets odd numbered rows and odd numbered seats for fans to sit in. Sec 102 104 & 106 get even numbered rows and even numbered seats. The rest of the rows/seats are taped off. Family section North side gets even rows. SG on the South end gets odd rows.
Unfortunately, masks are required for all spectators…you wanna take a drink, either move the mask so you can, or use a straw. The Eddies usually only draw 3000-3500, and in Clarke, those measures would work to keep your spacing. My only issue would be with “heavy handed” security yelling “Watch your social-distancing” and threatening to throw us out if we don’t comply.
Temperature checks at the gate would also probably have to happen before entry to the grounds.
Honestly I don’t think we’ll see much in terms of general attendance for a bit. I think (Coach) Jeff (Paulus) asked on a zoom call about who would be comfortable returning to a game pre-vaccine. I answered with I would be comfortable with a reliable and effective treatment pre-vaccine but wouldn’t go before that. When I say treatment i mean more something that would treat Covid 19 if someone catches it, rather than preventing it if that makes sense. With two kiddos at home I’m a bit more careful nowadays.
I think suggesting any kind of mass gathering for sports is quite a ways away from now. My guess is that we’ll see a singular location tournament for the CPL this year though. I just don’t see how they could enforce a supporters section to maintain social distancing to be honest.
I picture an empty stadium for safety reasons depending what it will be like when it does. I’m OK with that as long as it helps slow spread.
Thermal testing and optional masks would likely be enough to make me go. I am high-risk so I do have to be extra careful.
Your turn fans, not specifically to soccer but spectator sports in general, to answer the question:
If & when the sports return, how do you picture it?