The Future For Fans: Innovative Tailgaiting?

Written By: Logan Kaufman

Did you know that for the first time in the history of professional sports, the MLB, NBA, and NFL all went on at once? This, of course, was due to the novel Coronavirus, which shut down the NBA for over a month and pushed the opening day for the MLB just as long. With both of these leagues being delayed and postponed, their seasons are finishing later than scheduled. It’s needless to say that people all over the world are very excited that sports are back and in full swing, but there’s one factor that takes a little bit of excitement out of the games. That factor is that sporting events are allowing limited to no fans. The MLB has allowed no fans throughout their shortened season up until late in the playoffs, the NBA was centered in a bubble in Florida, where they also had no fans, and the NFL has very few teams that are allowing a low percentage of fans. I can speak for almost any sports fan when I say that it is much different to watch a game without seeing fans in attendance. It is possible that as the NFL season continues, there will be an increase in fans allowed at each game. Considering that the NBA season has concluded and the MLB is nearly over, there has been increased planning for the 2021 seasons. This planning revolves around how to keep fans involved while staying safe.

The traditional way that fans have come together and shown their support for a team is through tailgating. This year, tailgating can be quite dangerous due to all the health concerns from the Coronavirus. Despite the three major sports in the US being very straightforward about their fan restrictions, they have not laid out rules regarding tailgating. Because of this, tailgating has still gone on all around the country at many sporting events. The MLB and NBA are the closest to their next seasons meaning they have limited time to develop a safe plan to keep fans involved and entertained. Both of the leagues have noticed how dangerous tailgating can be right now and they have begun to plan safer options. The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to invest in an outdoor space where fans can enjoy games safely and the Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders are offering unique tailgating and viewing options outside of their stadiums. In addition to those few teams, there are many other teams that are designing plans for the upcoming seasons. 

All in all, tailgating has certainly been overlooked because of the centered attention on limiting attendance. As we enter the NBA offseason and near the MLB’s, it is time to begin pondering how the 2021 seasons will look. It is clear that many teams are in the process of planning safe and innovative ways for fans to be involved while socially distancing. This year has been nearly unpredictable thus far and many things can occur that could influence the fan’s involvement in the 2021 seasons. With that in mind, the only thing to do now is to prepare for the future and that’s what teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Dolphins, and the Las Vegas Raiders are doing. A lot is destined to happen over the next few months but there’s one thing that’s for certain. All of these sports will never lack excitement.

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