Glacier Peak High School fans celebrate the Grizzlies’ 57-52 victory over Sumner in the Class 4A state boys basketball tournament Thursday at the Tacoma Dome. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Glacier Peak High School fans celebrate the Grizzlies’ 57-52 victory over Sumner in the Class 4A state boys basketball tournament Thursday at the Tacoma Dome. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

POLL: Is coronavirus affecting your sports fandom?

Are you changing your attendance at sporting events as a health precaution?

Has the threat of coronavirus affected fan attendance at sporting events?

The COVID-19 outbreak affecting western Washington has been the main topic of news over the past week, with a seemingly endless stream of case-count updates and recommended practices.

But how is it affecting sports fan behavior?

We at The Herald’s sports department have been smack in the middle of the sporting response, and different organizations have taken different actions with regards to coronavirus.

At the high school level, the state basketball tournaments went on as scheduled last week. There were no interruptions in response to coronavirus, and the days I was at the Tacoma Dome there didn’t seem to be a noticeable dropoff in attendance, though that’s difficult to gauge.

The Northwest Athletic Conference, which was scheduled to hold its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments at Everett Community College, postponed the tournaments after an Everett CC student tested positive for COVID-19. NWAC is currently in the process of trying to find new dates and alternative locations for the tournaments.

The WHL went on with its games as scheduled, with the Everett Silvertips hosting games at Angel of the Winds Arena on both Friday and Saturday, then playing a game in Kent on Sunday. The official attendance counts at the games were normal, including a sellout crowd of 8,249 for Saturday night’s game against the Seattle Thunderbirds. But Tips beat writer Josh Horton told me there were unfilled seats at Everett’s home games, so not everyone who bought a ticket decided to show up.

Major League Baseball hasn’t taken any action yet, but questions are now being asked about whether the Seattle Mariners’ season opener on March 26 at T-Mobile Park may be affected.

And although there was no interruption of the high school state basketball tournament, precautions are being taken that affect high school spring sports. The Northshore School District has closed for up to 14 days, the Edmonds School District canceled sporting events through April 12, while the Marysville and Stanwood Camano School Districts have also canceled games.

Which makes me curious. Are fans behaving differently because of coronavirus? Are substantial numbers of people choosing not to attend games out of precaution? Or are the vast majority of sports fans still choosing to enjoy their sports?

Let us know what you’re doing here:


Talk to us

More in Sports

Darrington baseball player Brevin Ross

The shortstop/catcher played five years of varsity baseball and also starred on the basketball team.

Shorewood alum Snell issues apology for part of rant

The Rays pitcher says he wishes he had not said, “I’m not playing unless I get mine.”

Community sports roundup: SnoCo Sports HoF banquet canceled

Plus, Snohomish County FC adds a women’s team, the Snohomish Soccer Dome gets new management and more.

Meadowdale softball player Kate Houghton

The standout pitcher will play college softball at Central Connecticut State University.

Prep notebook: Kamiak hires new boys wrestling coach

Plus, a Meadowdale junior gets picked for the WIAA LEAP Committee.

Mariners begin ‘summer camp’ at T-Mobile Park

But the workouts look a whole lot different amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Marysville Pilchuck soccer player Edgar Martinez

Standout defender also kicked for the football team and shares a name with a Seattle Mariners icon.

What’s next for Mariners’ minor-leaguers?

The the minor-league season canceled, most young players will be left to work out on their own.

AquaSox season over after MLB cancels minor-league season

In a statement, the team said it looks “forward to having AquaSox baseball back at Funko Field in 2021.”

Everett Merchants’ season canceled due to pandemic

The semi-pro summer baseball team was hoping to play its 47th season under coach Harold Pyatte.

Empty stands at Emerald Downs leave empty feeling inside

The reality of the summer sets in when witnessing first-hand empty stands at a sporting event.

Canadian Hockey League hit with abuse lawsuit

The lawsuit alleges the CHL and its member leagues have been complicit in the abuse of underage players.