As the number of coronavirus pandemics improves in some parts of the world, and vaccines are injected into more and more arms, sports slowly return and gently return to days with full stadiums.
Or sometimes not so slowly and not so carefully. In many events, the race is about to get as many fans in the stands as possible – and claim the title of the biggest event since the pandemic began.
It may not be Roger Mariss chasing 61 homers or a scrap for the final NBA playoffs. But a lot of sports seem to want some kind of attendance “record”.
(To be fair, in some cases, these items seem to be of more interest to the news media than to organizers, many of whom may not have necessarily wanted to highlight that they wrapped fans in a public health crisis.)
Here’s a look at some of the plaintiffs, many of whom have already lost their “titles”.
December 27, Cowboys vs. Eagles, Arlington, Texas
The Dallas Cowboys welcome 30,131 fans to the AT&T Stadium for their final home game against the Philadelphia Eagles to end 2020 with the largest NFL crowd of the season. In total, the Cowboys had 197,000 fans in total on their eight home games, leads the league. “I see a continuing aggressive approach to having fans out there,” team owner Jerry Jones told Dallas Sports Talk Radio. “And it’s not insensitive to the fact that we got our Covid and outbursts.”
“Evidence overwhelmingly supports that fan participation in NFL games led to episodic spikes” in the Covid-19 case, found researchers in April.
The Jacksonville Jaguars missed the NFL attendance record and finished second with 127,000 fans in total. (They also missed the best record in the league by a slightly larger margin and finished 1-15.)
March 12, India v England, Ahmedabad, India
Making Dallas look like a model with caution gives organizers an estimated 67,000 people the opportunity to watch a cricket match in India, 50 percent of the capacity of the huge venue. Two days later, 66,000 showed up for a new match. But three more games at the same venue and three later this month in Pune the game behind closed doors as the cricket board had other thoughts due to increasing coronavirus cases. Given the gloomy coronavirus situation in India, setting a temporary record may have been a terrible idea.
March 25, Collingwood vs. Carlton, Melbourne, Australia
With Australia holds a tight lid on the virus, the country was ready to expand its attendance from 50 percent of capacity to 75 percent. That meant 75,000 would be allowed to take part in this Australian football match that surpassed the Indian cricket matches. In the end, however, only 51,000 fans came. “Hopes of a world-record attendance at a sporting event since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic were shattered,” Reuters reported.
April 5, Rangers vs. Blue Jays, Arlington
Rangers, alone among major league teams, decided to sell each seat to their home opener when the state of Texas had lifted most restrictions. About 38,000 fans arrived at the stadium with 40,000 seats, setting a 2021 mark for U.S. participation and passing the Daytona 500 (approximately 30,000) and the Super Bowl (25,000).
But these events practiced social distance; Daytona International Speedway has 100,000 seats, and the Super Bowl venue, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., Can accommodate as many as 75,000. Rangers fans were cheeky of jowl.
April 18 Alabama vs. Alabama, Tuscaloosa
The U.S. record is rapidly falling as 47,000 turn up to watch football. An exhibition spring football match. Roll the tide!
April 24 Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal, Jacksonville, Fla.
A group of 15,000 arrive for a series of mixed martial arts matches, and Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, declares it the first sold-out indoor event since the pandemic began.
“We are an open state and we will be able to enable people to make their own decisions about what they want to participate in,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference to the event. “Honestly, this event is good for Florida.”
“As far as the fans are concerned, you wear a mask or do not wear a mask. It’s up to you, it’s your decision, ”White said. A quarter or fewer of the fans decided to do so, those that were reported.
April 25 Collingwood vs. Essendon, Melbourne
Australia gets his elusive record as attendance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground rises to 85,000, and 78,000 turn up for this Anzac Day game.
In non-sports news, New Zealand, which, like its neighbor, had the virus almost under control, had set its own record the day before: biggest concert since the pandemic began, which 50,000 groaned to the sound of the Six60 in Auckland.
May 1, Kentucky Derby, Louisville
The American record falls again as 51,000 spectators, about a third of the normal audience, Turn up. By 2020, the stands were empty. “What a difference a year makes,” Gov. said. Andy Beshear on the pitch. Masks were required when not eating, although many ignored the rule.
May 8, Canelo Álvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders, Arlington
A real record falls, not just a “since the pandemic” record. More than 73,000 people turn up to this match, the largest indoor boxing event in American history. Yes, indoors. The roof at AT&T Stadium was closed for the event.
“This is the biggest live event in the United States, the post-pandemic,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “And boxing brings it back. Usually it would be American football or the NBA. This is boxing. Saturday night the world will watch. It’s so encouraging. ”
May 30, Indianapolis 500
Most of the entries that have the organizers so excited about are being deleted. The Indianapolis 500 is expected to have as many as 135,000 fans on Memorial Day weekend, about 40 percent of its capacity. The track says it will require masks and control temperatures at the entrance.
“Our fans mean everything to us and we can’t wait to welcome them home again to this year’s Indy 500,” said course president J. Douglas Boles.