• Ricardo Escobar

Adjusting Sports Crowds and Venues in a Pandemic


Adjusting Sports Crowds and Venues in a Pandemic
Adjusting Sports Crowds and Venues in a Pandemic

ABSTRACT


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I appreciate the normality in which we lived previous-pandemic and questioning how we can return to a "normalcy" in which we feel comfortable. In turn, we can coexist safely and have peace of mind. Therefore, we can categorize the proper adjustments to bring back crowds to venues, maintain peace of mind, and still feel collective hysteria.


Since I was little, I have always been a sports fan. I have attended different sports venues that I consider to have a great social responsibility to bring societies together. Therefore the assistants can break their daily routine through sports entertainment and create individuals who actively interact with the community by building this sense of belonging by being part of a social crowd (as a sports spectator). At the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, social activities were denied, increasing my need to when and how I could be a sports spectator again. I began to have many unanswered questions to understand what context I could be in these sporting events again.


This research clarifies a series of questions, but I must admit that the more I research, new questions always arise; the analysis is segmented into three parts, leading us to understand the pandemic context to comprehend the sports crisis’s health the social turmoil.


Each pandemic is different. We have to understand each pandemic's various components and risk levels, also understanding that as human beings, we are social beings, and sport (entertainment) is an essential part of many individuals in our society. We can find these adjustments that will help us take measures and decisions that lead us to create a safe and social environment because even though I love sport, I also need to make peace of mind and secure interaction to be part of these events. Understanding which are the design changes and protocols for the realization of these events during a pandemic and, in turn, understanding the level of risk is essential.



Table Of Content


Abstract

Pandemic and Sports Venues

Sports Venues and Socials Beings

Understanding a Pandemic

Immediate Impact in Sports

Social Crisis and Human Interaction

Why Humans Need Social Interactions

Impact of not Having Sports Events

Sport Venues Adjustments and Protocols

How to Host a Sports Event

Risk Level

Conclusions

Annotated Bibliography



Pandemic and Sports Venues


Sports Venues and Socials Beings


Sports and Pandemic have something similar, they have been around a long time, as we can track in ancient Greece, sports entertainment was a key role to maintain society under control, but also “In Rome, the sport will be an element understood above all as social entertainment, conceiving it as a public spectacle by and for the State. It will be an element that is used to manipulate the masses and where competition understood as external triumph and the materialistic specialization of sport are imposed.” (Fife, S. (2012, January 18). Athletics, Leisure, and Entertainment in Ancient Rome. World History Encyclopedia.) From my point of view as a social individual, sports practice facilitates relationships, channels aggressiveness and need for confrontation, awakens sensitivity and creativity, and contributes to the improvement of the social climate.


Reuters. (2013, August 13). Together: People get behind Team GB and cheer while watching screens in the Olympic Park during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Reuters. (2013, August 13). Together: People get behind Team GB and cheer while watching screens in the Olympic Park during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

There is a cognitive transformation from personal to social level identification. Therefore crowd members act meaningfully in terms of the norms of their salient social identity. By stressing the cognitive shift from personal to social identification, the social identity approach has therefore moved away from the classic portrayal of crowds as irrational explosions of emotion.” (Reicher, S. D. (n.d.). The psychology of crowd dynamics.). The public in sports contexts develop actions that they cannot carry out individually, as we can see in the photo of Londers from 2012, a united society can be appreciated, shouting, consuming alcohol, hugging and they are activities that if they were doing individually, I am sure that everyone would think they have a psychological problem, or is going through an emotional crisis. The important thing is to understand that these events help the social fabric, as a whole and it is also a form of entertainment that helps each individual psychologically.


Understanding a Pandemic


Is hard to understand a topic that is soo new and evolving, when we have a crowd during a pandemic I think there are very subjective and different adjustments that can be done because a pandemic can have different variants and transmission causes, HIV and Coronavirus are different things, therefore the adjustments are different at all, I think there should be categories that can tell you how the tra


nsmission works as a main influence to make decisions, and from this, we can begin to adjust crowds.


In the article How to model a Pandemic” (Christian Yates, 2020), Yates explains that every pandemic has different factors and impacts; therefore, we have to create a minimum understand

ing to start taking action. After we begin to build the profile of this pandemic, we can start to look for measurements and adjustments that will keep people safe. When every small measurement becomes effective, we can start thinking about the reopening stages to come back to nomal.


Immediate Impact in Sports


The more measurement we have for human safety, we will have a different reaction from the fans, we have to understand that the more adjustments that we create to produce safety and peace of mind, the crowd will become more manageable, and the built environment will be hard and seems like we won't get the same collective hysteria that makes the sports venues create this sense of society. As an example, we will see the case of the Super Bowl events compared in the editions 2020 and 2021.

ABC NEWS. (2020, January 29). Super Bowl 2020: Fans in South Florida find the 'right' red as 49ers, Chiefs share similar color scheme.
ABC NEWS. (2020, January 29). Super Bowl 2020: Fans in South Florida find the 'right' red as 49ers, Chiefs share similar color scheme.

 SBNation. (2021, February 7). Why Super Bowl LV isn’t as packed as it looks.
SBNation. (2021, February 7). Why Super Bowl LV isn’t as packed as it looks.

As we can see in the images the Super Bowl, mention the reaction of people when they see the first picture.

 Image by: Douglas R. Clidford, Times Magazine.  Spartak Stadium, Russia, Fifa World Cup 2018. Chart By Author
Image by: Douglas R. Clidford, Times Magazine. Spartak Stadium, Russia, Fifa World Cup 2018. Chart By Author


Many people will see mexicans fans image and consider that this will be irresponsible, dangerous, and risky if this happens in the actual context of a pandemic. This image references how sports venues use to host fans and how individuals use to do stuff that they are not allowed to do in public places by the social norms, but in stadiums, this is acceptable.

CDC 2021 for THEY SAY, Diagram made by Writer
CDC 2021 for THEY SAY, Diagram made by Writer

Social Crisis and Human Interaction


Why Humans Need Social Interactions


Of all the challenges that have put us in front of us since the crisis began as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, one of the greatest is reinventing the way we relate to others. In a society like ours, in which physical contact is part of our day-to-day life, and in which our social relationships are one of the nuclei of our life, we have had to turn this around: learn to see each other less, and talk more in other ways.


Research makes the Analysis of semi-structured interviews with football supporters and student demonstrators is used to illustrate the role that shared identity plays in transforming within-crowd social relations (relatedness), and the positive impact this has upon emotionality of collective experience.” (Fergus Neville and Stephen Reicher. (17 Nov 2011). The experience of collective participation: shared identity, relatedness and emotionality). The paper argues for a conceptual distinction between shared identity and self-categorization, and against the contention in classic crowd psychology that a loss of identity is at the root of collective emotion, therefore being participants of this sports crowd might be essential for the human experience and mental health of regular people.


Impact of not Having Sports Events

Douglas R. Clidford, Times Magazine. (n.d.). Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Douglas R. Clidford, Times Magazine. (n.d.). Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Sport Venues Adjustments and Protocols


How to Host an Sport Event

World Health Organization 2020 Information adapted from the writer.
World Health Organization 2020 Information adapted from the writer.

Risk Level


We have to be aware of the different adjustments that we are going to take as prevention of a spread of a virus, and depending on having the knowledge of how the virus works, we need to take count of the transmission rate, and the impact if some of your attendees get this virus.

 CDC. (2021, April 27). Guidance for Organizing Large Events and Gatherings. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Diagram adapted by writer.
CDC. (2021, April 27). Guidance for Organizing Large Events and Gatherings. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Diagram adapted by writer.

 UEFA. (n.d.). UEFA Guide to Quiality Stadiums. (107).  Diagram made by author.
UEFA. (n.d.). UEFA Guide to Quiality Stadiums. (107). Diagram made by author.

Conclusion


After a pandemic hits is inevitable to prioritize human safety. As an effect, we will have a lack of community engagement. Individuals will begin to develop a need to socialize. Therefore, the crowds will start to generate this consumption need, sport venue organizers will begin to realize how they can create safe sports environments. It is primordial to understand how the current pandemic works, its spread, and the risk that spectators exposure.


Stadiums are designing to break social norms and generate an environment that will build interactions and community after the local government gives the green flag to reopen sports events and understand the risk level of the event a need to take action.


When implementing adjustments, they can be done as Design Adjustments and Protocol adjustments. Understanding that protocol changes as physical actions taken by each spectator and Design changes as construction alterations to the venue, add walls, partitions, circulations paths.


As a result of implementing these adjustments to improve safety, the effect is impressive. We can create a relationship as the more adjustments we implement, the less built environment we get. The venue might become a safe place, but many factors also play the game, distancing, lack of community engagement, and adding peace of mind creates a neutral a non-enjoyable environment.


Suppose in the future there is another pandemic and someone is reading this to organize a sports event. In that case, the understanding that experience will never be the same should clear on the mind of organizers and spectators. From the beginning of this research to the end, I understand pandemics have been around since our origins. Humans tent to recover and get back to “normality” through time. Also, as humans, we tent to undervalue risks and go out of our comfort-fear zone.



Annotated Bibliography


ABC NEWS. (2020, January 29). Super Bowl 2020: Fans in South Florida find the 'right' red as 49ers, Chiefs share similar color scheme. ABC News. https://abc7news.com/super-bowl-sunday-2020-54-49ers-chiefs-san-francisco-colors/5887273/

This image displays the off pandemic context spots events, this was used to make comparison between pre-pandemic and post-pandemic.


CDC. (2021, April 27). Guidance for Organizing Large Events and Gatherings. Centers of Desease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/considerations-for-events-gatherings.html

This is to develop and enable sport event organizers to review the additional considerations specific to sporting events involving mass gatherings, and thus inform their risk assessment of COVID-19 associated with the event. This will help organizers to understand and manage any additional risk from COVID-19.

The risk assessment should be reviewed and reassessed regularly during the planning phase and updated immediately prior to the transition to the operational phase, especially in light of the rapidly evolving nature of the outbreak.


Christian Yates. (2020, March 25). How to model a pandemic. Lecturer in Mathematical Biology, University of Bath.


With basic mathematical models, researchers can begin to forecast the progression of diseases and understand the effect of interventions on disease spread. With more complex models, we can start to answer questions about how to efficiently allocate limited resources or tease out the consequences of public health interventions, like closing pubs and banning gatherings.


Douglas R. Clidford, Times Magazine. (n.d.). Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.


Fergus Neville and Stephen Reicher. (17 Nov 2011). The experience of collective participation: shared identity, relatedness and emotionality.

This Paper presents the Analysis of semi-structured interviews with football supporters and student demonstrators is used to illustrate the role that shared identity plays in transforming within-crowd social relations (relatedness), and the positive impact this has upon the emotionality of collective experience. Questionnaire data collected at a music festival are then used to confirm these claims. The paper argues for a conceptual distinction between shared identity and self-categorization, and against the contention in classic crowd psychology that a loss of identity is at the root of collective emotion.




Fife, S. (2012, January 18). Athletics, Leisure, and Entertainment in Ancient Rome. World History Encyclopedia. https://www.worldhistory.org/article/98/athletics-leisure-and-entertainment-in-ancient-rom/#:~:text=Horseback%20Riding%3A%20Every%20Roman%20was,central%20field)%20of%20Roman%20baths.

Reicher, S. D. (n.d.). The psychology of crowd dynamics, in: M. Hogg & R. Tindale (Eds) Blackwell handbook of social psychology: group processes (2001st ed.).

Society viewed as something strange, something pathological, something monstrous. At the same time they are viewed with awe and with fascination. However, above all, they are considered to be something apart. We may choose to go and view them occasionally as a distraction from the business of everyday life, but they are separate from that business and tell us little or nothing about normal social and psychological realities.


Reuters. (2013, August 13). Together: People get behind Team GB and cheer while watching screens in the Olympic Park during the London 2012 Olympic Games. www.dailymail.co.uk/. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2187491/David-Cameron-says-London-Olympics-brought-UK-closer-together.html


SBNation. (2021, February 7). Why Super Bowl LV isn’t as packed as it looks. SBNation. https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2021/2/7/22271674/super-bowl-2021-crowd-cardboard-cutout-fans


UEFA. (n.d.). UEFA Guide to Quiality Stadiums. Retrieved 2014. https://editorial.uefa.com/resources/01f9-0f842793b513-3ec14e88e0ef-1000/uefa_guide_to_quality_stadiums.pdf

This guide is designed to assist anyone who is involved in the commissioning, design or (re)construction of a stadium. The objective is to provide an easy-to-read set of guidelines covering all of the issues involved in stadium design and construction, from inception through to the opening ceremony.


The role of the interface of sport and tourism in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

WHO, Mike Weed, July 2020

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14775085.2020.1794351?needAccess=true&

Key concepts are set out as context for discussion under two headings. Under Sports Fixtures and Events: a parochial attitude to cancelling major sports events; the impact of recreated and relived sports events on wellbeing; the response of sports audiences to live sport behind closed doors. Under Activity, Movement and Travel: the appetite and provision for outdoor activity during lockdown, and the role of a sense of movement; the factors that might lead to observed increases in sustainable modes of travel being sustained post-lockdown. Lessons and questions for future research, policy and provision are discussed, and the potential is identified for activities at the interface of sport and tourism to make significant contributions to outcomes and policy goals for wellbeing, physical health, mental health, and in supporting green space and sustainable travel as a response to the climate crisis.




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