European Soccer with Fans, Showing a Path Forward For Sports Business?

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The SuperCup match between Sevilla and Bayern Munich may not be a marquee matchup for a lot of folks, but with over 11,000 fans, potentially, it will be one of the biggest events in the northern hemisphere since the pandemic started shutting down events in March.

The protocols that have become standard for entering a lot of places now will be on full display in Hungary with a negative Covid-19 test upon entry to Hungary, masks in the stadium complex, and social distancing on display.

To add to the excitement, FC Copenhagen has sold 12,500 season tickets for the upcoming season. As a point of comparison, last season it took the team half the season to achieve the 12,500 number. This year, 23 days.

These are all great signs and also provide a roadmap forward for a lot of places that are still working towards having fans in the stands:

  1. You need a plan for testing, tracking, and tracing that is comprehensive.
  2. You need clear expectations of your visitors and your fans.
  3. You need to communicate effectively.
  4. You have to be comfortable with the idea that you may have to change direction due to circumstances outside of your control.

If you want to check out a webinar on what lessons Americans have learned having fans at their games so far, there is one coming up next week…check it out!

As I’m finishing this up, we also saw the NFL kick off with fans at Arrowhead Stadium, capped at around 14,000 fans. They didn’t sell everything they had on hand, but the process seemed orderly and potentially a lot of lessons will have been learned that will be able to be applied in other venues.

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