Attending Sporting Events | CDC




As some communities in the United States re-start sporting events, CDC offers the following considerations for ways in which people who go to a sporting event can slow the spread of COVID-19. These considerations are meant to supplement – not replace – any state, tribal, local, or territorial health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which the public must comply.

Spectators at sporting events should consider the number of COVID-19 cases both where they live and where the sporting event is taking place before deciding to attend. The higher the transmission of COVID-19 in the community, the higher the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at sporting events.

CDC has not recommended a specific limit on the number of people that are safe to attend a sporting event. People who plan to go to a sporting event should contact the sporting program to find out whether seating arrangements and event logistics allow people to stay at least 6 feet apart and the maximum number of attendees the program will allow.

In general, the number that can attend should allow groups from different households to remain at least 6 feet apart from each other. Rather than focusing on an ideal number, emphasis should be placed on the ability to reduce and limit contact between people. If the safety measures implemented by the sports program do not allow people to remain at least 6 feet apart, people attending sporting events should consider alternate ways of participating in the sporting event. Before attending a sporting event, people who plan on going should learn more about risks involved when deciding to go out.

Guiding principles

Continue to take these steps to reduce your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19:

Even if you and others (including children) do not feel sick and do not have any symptomsyou can still spread COVID-19 to family, friends, and community.

Do NOT be around others if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, if you are sick, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19.

Consider watching sports at home rather than attending in-person sporting events

People who attend a sporting event can take action to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and reduce the spread while attending sporting events.

The more people someone interacts with, the closer, the longer, and the more frequent the interaction, and the more contact with frequently touched surfaces, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Indoor events pose a greater risk than outdoor events.

The greater the number of sporting events someone attends, the greater the risk of COVID-19 spread. The risk of COVID-19 can be different, depending on the type of sporting event someone attends or the way they participate in the sporting event, as well as the number of COVID-19 cases both where they live and where the sporting event is taking place. The risk of COVID-19 increases for spectators in sporting event settings as follows:

Watching the sporting event on television or online in your home with members of your household

Tailgating or attending a sporting event in your local community when

  • The event, including tailgating, is held outdoors
  • All attendees wear masks
  • Attendees are discouraged from yelling, chanting, or singing
  • All attendees stay at least six feet away from people they do not live with
  • Attendees at a community sporting event are from the local area and limited to family and friends of athletes
  • Attendees do not share food or drinks or personal items (e.g., noisemakers) with people they don’t live with
  • The sports program has several mitigation strategies (e.g., blocked off seats or rows, visual cues such as floor markings for social distancing, cleaning and disinfection) and messaging in place to prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19

Tailgating or attending a sporting event in a nearby community when

  • The event is held in an open, well-ventilated indoor space
  • Most attendees wear masks
  • Attendees yell, chant, and sing while wearing masks
  • Most attendees stay at least six feet way from people they do not live with
  • Attendees are from the local community
  • Attendees limit their sharing of food and personal items (e.g., noisemakers) with others
  • The sports program has a couple of mitigation strategies and messaging in place to prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19

Traveling to a different geographic area to attend a sporting event or tailgate when

  • The event is held in a confined, poorly ventilated indoor space
  • Attendees do not wear masks
  • Attendees yell, chant, and sing without masks
  • Attendees do not stay at least six feet away from people they do not live with
  • Attendees travel from outside the area to attend the event
  • Attendees freely share their food and personal items (e.g., noisemakers) with people they don’t live with
  • The sports program has no modifications or messaging in place to prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19

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