AFL Round 1. Richmond vs Carlton at the MCG.. 20/03/2020. Trent Cotchin of the Tigers holds a sign for the fans pre game . Pic: Michael Klein
AFL Round 1. Richmond vs Carlton at the MCG.. 20/03/2020. Trent Cotchin of the Tigers holds a sign for the fans pre game . Pic: Michael Klein

BEHIND THE DESK: Is it too soon for crowds at sport?

NO POINT RUSHING THINGS

Mitchell Keenan

AS THE COVID-19 cloud starts to dissipate and Australia sport gets back to business, is it time to fill up our stadiums again?

I don’t think so.

Sure, I miss crowds as much as anyone else, but mass gatherings of people in proximity when we haven’t even found a vaccine to the virus that is still wreaking havoc around the world is a terrible idea.

While the NRL was the first major sport back on our screens, it’s the AFL, namely the GWS Giants, pushing to have small crowds of 50-odd people at their games from as soon as July.

While this would technically fit into the NSW Government’s current restrictions, what’s the point?

Some teams might be lucky to get 50 into the stadium each week (looking at the Gold Coast Suns), but it won’t make the slightest different to the rest of us.

Even if we sectioned off each area and were allowed to put 50 in each at an acceptable distance, it would still be pretty dismal.

I was unsure about the canned crowd noise the NRL used from the opening game but it really grew on me over time. I would definitely prefer that than hearing 50 fans attempt to form any sort of an atmosphere.

We need to let it be until we can get back to full-sized crowds and enjoy the spine-tingling moment they finally get to return.

ALLOWING CROWDS IS JUST MAD

Tim Howard

ANY plan to get live crowds back into stadiums while there is still COVID-19 in the community is pure madness.

Sports teams are only just returning to the training paddock, complaining their most strenuous exercise has been jumping through the hoops the regulators have set to avoid the spread of infection.

Sports people training and playing with coaches and managers watching over them might just be acceptable, but allowing fans to gather together is irresponsible.

And even if it were to happen, what sort of crowd would it be if social distancing regulations were applied. One spectator per four square metres at the MCG would just be sad.

We are just entering our winter, the most dangerous season for infections in the Northern Hemisphere.

We know the exposure of our community to the virus is well below the 60 per cent level needed for any herd immunity to be effective.

And medical authorities caution the herd immunity to the virus might be short-lived.

We know the highly infectious disease has an infection rate of 2.6 if left unchecked.

That means if the disease spreads unchecked at that rate from one infected person on July 1, by July 31, every Australian would be infected.

With what we know now that won’t happen. But that means taking precautions, like keeping large groups of people away from sports venues.



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