The future of sport as we know it hinges on getting fans back into stadia. This is especially true in Ireland where the IRFU, FAI and GAA rely to a very high level on the income generated by matchday ticketing and revenue.
Each week we will take a look at developments around the world on where sporting organisations, public health authorities and governments are moving in the return to stadia.
ENGLISH HOPES OF FULL STADIA FOR EUROS IN THE BALANCE
Plans to have a full house of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium for the final of the Euro 2020 Championships appear to be in danger at the moment with question marks over technology and the impact on civil liberties of a proposed mobile phone-based passport to manage the concept of a vaccination passport.
The Daily Telegraph is reporting this morning that MP’s are questioning whether this will be possible or desirable.
The company that conducted extensive testing across the English premier League used a robust ‘health passport’ mechanism to ensure compliance and that this had played a critical role in the success of a return to the sport.
UEFA had extended its deadline for an update on how many fans would be permitted at each of the grounds hosting matches in the tournament for April 7th.
The English FA is understood to be committing to a 50 per cent attendance at the semi-final stage when both games are also scheduled to be staged at Wembley.
RETURN TO SPORT CONFERENCE SET FOR APRIL 29TH
On Thursday, April 29th Sport for Business will host a morning conference on where we are with regard to the return of sport and the return of fans to our sporting stadia.
We will bring together sporting bodies and stadium operators to see how they are preparing for a relaxation of public health restrictions and we will explore how things are being managed in other jurisdictions.
We will also talk with sponsors and technology companies to see what the stadium environment will look like once fans start to return.
We will be updating speakers and a provisional timetable over the coming days.
The event will take place over zoom and details on how to log in will be sent to those who have registered in advance.
COVID FEARS FOR IPL
The Indian Premier League cricket tournament has been hit by a number of positive Covid tests only days from the opening games.
Infection rates are rising again across the country with Mumbai a particular hot spot.
This is causing concern for organisers of one of the most-watched sports TV events of the year with five of the eight teams taking part based in the city.
Last year’s League took place in the United Arab Emirates due to concerns over Covid.
FINA SET TO CANCEL TOKYO TEST EVENT
FINA, the international governing body for swimming and diving is reported to be cancelling the final Olympic qualification event due to take place in Tokyo this month amid concerns over Covid measures and changes to quarantine requirements.
No full confirmation has been made yet but the BBC is reporting that the governing body is not satisfied that athletes safety will not be guaranteed and that there have been problems with the issuing of visas.
This was to have been one of the test events for the Olympic venues.
OSAKA CANCELS TORCH RELAY
The Japanese city of Osaka has asked for the cancellation of its stage on the Olympic Torch relay as case numbers of Covid-19 rise in the city.
Numerous restrictions on the numbers of spectators and their being asked to wear masks and not cheer to avoid the risk of spread have been put in place as the torch winds its way around what will now be most of Japan’s 47 regional administrative units.
Sport for Business Partners