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Uncertainty remains regarding fan return to live sports events; music venues consolidate, with 2022 recovery expected, 2022-23 for major tours

Post-UMD poll: Fewer than half of Americans feel comfortable attending sports in person, the Washington Post reported 3/31/21:
While 42 percent of Americans are comfortable attending a live, ticketed sporting event in general — compared with 40 percent who are not and 18 percent who are unsure — people say their own comfort levels vary widely based on conditions.

About two-thirds say they would feel comfortable attending an outdoor event such as baseball (66 percent), but fewer than half as many (32 percent) feel comfortable attending an indoor event such as basketball. Nearly 2 in 3 people (64 percent) say they would feel comfortable if all attendees were required to wear masks, compared with 22 percent who would feel comfortable if there was no mask requirement.
Note that the wariness toward attending live sports events does not fully undermine them, since the leagues and teams have large TV contracts. It's much more a question regarding other events, notably concerts, which rely on the gate.

The poll, not surprisingly cited more comfort with a stadium limited to 20 percent capacity (69 percent “comfortable”) than 50 percent capacity (50 percent), while some three-quarters of respondents said masks should be required.

In Field of Scheme, Neil deMause responded with Poll of Americans on reopening stadiums shows why not to reopen stadiums based on polls, arguing that the poll was flawed because it didn't ask about the use of various protocols combined:
If a Washington Post pollster had been unlucky enough to get me on the phone, for example, I would have said, “I feel pretty safe at outdoor, masked, and distanced events right now, and once I’m fully vaccinated would consider indoor events, but not if people are unmasked, unless maybe the case rate is really low by then because so many other people are vaccinated — are you getting all this?"
Concert business coming back?

EDM.com, focusing on electronic dance music, on 2/20/21 published THE CONCERT BUSINESS VS. COVID-19: THE ROAD TO A 2021 RECOVERY, noting that 97 independent venues had closed during the pandemic, presaging "a massive consolidation of independent venues to be absorbed by companies like Live Nation or even mid-size venue companies like Bowery Presents."

The long-term future is good though, with spending expected to boom at the beginning of 2022:
Recent data from MRC even found that 59% of US concert-goers are willing to attend a live event again within two months after the pandemic ends or a vaccine or treatment becomes available. Wall Street seems to agree with this optimistic viewpoint, as December 17th marked the first time Live Nation’s stock share price surpassed its pre-pandemic levels, sitting at $73.93 a share. This is incredible, considering the free fall the global touring industry has had to deal with since early March.
The New York Times 3/31/21 reported Itchy to Perform Again, Musicians Eye Return to Touring
After a grueling year, blocked from what is often their most vital income stream, musicians are impatient to get back on the road, and fans are eager to experience live music again. While large-scale shows at arenas and stadiums may not come back full-throttle until 2022, promoters and talent agents, encouraged by the speed of vaccinations, have begun laying the groundwork for what may be a surprisingly busy summer and fall of concerts at clubs, theaters and outdoor spaces.
That said, the current guidelines--"33 percent of their regular capacity, up to 100 people for indoor spaces"--don't do much for major venues like the Barclays Center.

Indeed, the boom could take longer, so look for late next year or 2023:
Major tours, which typically require months of planning and the hiring of a large crew of workers, have largely punted to next year or even 2023. That should make the next couple of years an extraordinary time for live music, with dozens of superstar acts planning to reschedule postponed tours and make up for lost time. But it may also be a test of touring infrastructure and of fans’ willingness to buy tickets to multiple high-profile shows.

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