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Volume 23 No. 28
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How much have you missed live sports and attending games?

Nats fans headed to watch party activities for Game 7 of the 2019 World Series against the Astros exit the Metro cars at the Navy Yard/Ballpark station on Oct. 30 in Washington, D.C.
Photo: getty images

How much do live games matter to you?

DAVID ALPER: Giants [football] season isn’t on yet. I’m missing baseball as a TV option in the summer, but probably only go to two baseball games a year, so. … If the season starts and there are no fans at games or there is no season, of course, I will be missing those Sundays desperately.

 

BOB ARTHUR: When COVID broke out in mid-March earlier this year, my family — my wife and our eldest daughter and I were halfway to Phoenix on that Thursday morning and … the alert came on my phone that MLB had canceled all the [spring training] games. And I had tickets for, I think seven games for the stay while we were going to be in the Phoenix area. So to say I was upset would be an understatement.  

KEVIN BAILEY: Yeah, a lot. It’s been a part of my life in Washington since the Nationals [arrived in 2005], and I have two boys who are baseball players and love the Nats, and it’s been hard on them to not go to games.

YUSUF CHAUHAN: I’ve missed attending the Rockets games quite a bit! Live games matter tremendously as part of the fan experience, and it’s always a great social activity to enjoy with friends and family. The sense of camaraderie and exhilaration that comes from being at live sports is unmatched by any other experience.

BRIAN CLARK: A ton, was planning on taking my youngest brother to his first Michigan football game for his 13th birthday this fall, and love going to live sports games much more than watching on TV.

AUTUMN CLAYTON: We go to about 20 [Nationals] games a year, not including playoffs. It’s a huge part of my husband and I’s date night type of thing. It has been hard for us to not have that. 

SHARON DELPILAR: Nothing beats being in a stadium, in an arena, in person. I think that was really highlighted for me attending the Rio Games. I had been watching the Olympics pretty much my entire life. Most of it in front of the television with my family. And that was a bucket-list thing for me, I wanted to attend a Summer Games at some point in my life. I can’t even describe the feeling of that excitement and that energy when you’re in that stadium with all those other people cheering on these athletes. 

ERIC FEUERSTEIN: I go to a lot of baseball games in the spring. That’s mainly what we’ve missed since then. Of course, it went into summer, so we really didn’t miss much after that. But, like everybody, we’re listening intently to what college football’s going to be doing.

TODD FICKETT: Minimally, but I love to go when I get a chance. For the past 13 years, I get together with a group of about 20 friends and go to a different city to see a ballgame. We spend a whole weekend, but the ballpark is the anchor of the trip, it’s a great bond. I prefer televised [sports]. I spend about $400 a year for sports packages and my eight TVs round out the sports viewing.

CARLA GESELL-STREETER: My husband has heart issues, so we’ve been attending less face-to-face. We’ve got an independent league baseball team in Florence (Ky.), the Y’alls, so we were planning on season tickets for them to support them. We’ve got the MLB.TV package, IndyCar Gold Pass, and we’re big F1 fans too, so we watch a lot.

JANE GODFREY: Got to see all of Maryland basketball, had Final Four tickets but didn’t get to go to that, got to see the Mystics win the championship, after that nothing. … We could take the Metro to the parks easy. There is a Metro station where the Nats play, and a Metro station where the Mystics play. So, yeah, I definitely miss the live [games].

NAN GRAY: Oh, God. I don’t even know how to describe how much I miss that. It started off being devastated when March Madness was canceled, especially because I thought Kentucky had a good shot this year. I’m such a fanatic about the things that I love. (Got a refund on her Panthers PSL this year.) I almost had tears in my eyes.

JEROME HARRIS: It matters a whole lot. You look at the players in the NBA right now, they don’t even look comfortable. They’re not really into it as they would be if there were fans. Having fans there drive players’ emotions and the intensity of the game. The virtual fans, it’s weird. 

PHILIP HAWKEN: I’ve missed it a great deal, and I think there’s a lot of things you miss these days, but sports, either as a backdrop in society, something to talk about with your buddies as something that’s going on as an active entity in our lives, it means a great deal. If you want to rank things it’s a 9 or a 10, it’s up there. In terms of going to live sporting events, that’s a little lower. 

BOB HILLIARD: Just like any fan, I miss the adrenaline, the action and the excitement. But, like most fans as well, I’m not willing to pay with my life, so I’m fine; I can wait. It’s just too steep of an entry cost. The life of myself and my family to go to a Cowboys game. … That’s not a cost benefit I’m willing to participate in. … I mean, everyone’s frustrated, everyone’s impatient, but the downside is a coffin in the ground. So I’m OK with missing live sports for as long as it takes.

SHERRY LABADIE: Most definitely, 100%. But mostly I’ve been concerned about the athletes. It’s very upsetting that they haven’t been able to do what they love.

AARON MAAS: In the summertime, I would take my kids whenever I could. Now that option’s not there. … Baseball not in Cincinnati in the summer is just messed up. It’s just indescribable.

BRANDON MARTINEZ: So far I haven’t missed a whole lot. Typically we pay more attention to the football season. I’m not a big basketball fan. And we typically watch the Astros but towards the end of the season. The football season is about to start up, and we’re anxious to see how it’s going to turn out. I think they are going to play. But it’s a matter of what the guidelines will be. 

GENTRY MCGUIRE: I miss it more than any other singular summer activity. We go to multiple sporting events in the summer so it’s definitely a huge void. Really missing the 2020 Summer Olympics, too. 

RYAN MOUNT: I miss live games. In my industry, we use going to sports events as a way to connect with vendors and clients. Sometimes, it’s just a good time out with friends. So, I would say I miss that quite a bit. What I really miss is Sabrina Ionescu for the Liberty. Like I circled every single date that she was going to be in town versus the Fever and was so excited because … to see really great athletes perform, like getting to see LeBron several times, or Mike Trout last year, sometimes greatness doesn’t fully come across on TV.

JIM MYERS: Sports give us encouragement and a sense of accomplishment even though we may not have contributed to a team’s win in any form or fashion. Because of this I believe sports have been extremely missed during this COVID era.

JOHN NEWMAN: I’ve missed sports a lot, a tremendous amount. I didn’t realize how much sports I watched until the pandemic hit. I had tickets to go to the NCAA tournament — the Final Four in Atlanta — and to not be able to go was tremendously disappointing. We also missed out on the ACC tournament. We were actually walking into the Greensboro Coliseum, and they turned us back at the gate. That was tough. March Madness is my favorite event.

SOFIA OHANIAN: There’s really nothing like getting a Dodger Dog and just sitting at Chavez Ravine and watching the sunset and being there, feeling that environment. But for me, the thing that I love the most, is my rituals around it are really more just getting the games off a live sub/Reddit stream and staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning with my Dad on the couch. Just watching the game or being at my aunt or uncle’s house in L.A. and just having Joe Kelly and Orel Hershiser on in the background of everything. 

GRAYSON REIMER: It was everything. My life has done a complete 180. Now I just watch old games.

TASHA STEWART: I have missed live sports desperately, especially in this hellscape of a year. I’m currently surviving off of ESPN+ and rewatching old Ravens games on NFL Network. I’m happy to watch games on TV, but nothing beats live games at the Bank — M&T is my favorite stadium and the energy is on 100.