Study Finds Having Fans at NFL & CFB Games Didn’t Increase COVID Spread

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For all of us in favor of fan attendance at sporting events, we got some great news on Saturday. A recent study published on medRxiv found that having fans in the stands for NFL and college football games did not increase the spread of COVID-19.

Yes, you read that correctly.

There could be a few Coronabros out there upset with the results of this study, but folks, this is significant news. The research was conducted by Asmae Toumi, Haoruo Zhao, Jagpreet Chhatwal, Benjamin P. Linas and Turgay Ayer.

The purpose of the study was to identify whether or not the limited in-person attendance had any effect on the number of COVID cases. Below is a snippet from the results of the study, filed under the “conclusions and relevance” section:

This time-series, cross-sectional matching study with a difference-in-differences design did not find an increase in COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the counties where NFL and NCAA games were held with in-person attendance. Our study suggests that NFL and NCAA football games hosted with limited in-person attendance do not cause a significant increase in local COVID-19 cases.

Granted, we have to remember that this is based on the limited in-person attendance allowed at those varying games. But this is certainly a good sign.

For those wondering how the information was gathered and analyzed, that question is answered as well.

They “quantified the effect of interest by comparing daily changes in COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in counties that have held NFL/NCAA games with limited in-person attendance with those that did not hold NFL/NCAA games or have no attendance.”

And to think, we almost found ourselves in a situation where this information would not have been available. Why? Because the season almost didn’t happen, and it took a lot of fighting back from players and their families, coaches, fans and public figures such as OutKick owner Clay Travis.

Had those people pushing to cancel the season gotten their way, we would more than likely still be mulling over the effects of allowing fan attendance at sporting events — or even allowing those sporting events to happen at all.

Good thing the right people in charge didn’t succumb to public pressure.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and


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  1. The Health Departmen tells you you need to be in a closed room with somebody for more than 15 minutes to transmit the Black Death. To me, any outdoor event doesnot qualify, but what do I know, I’m just part of the peasantry.

  2. Tell us something we don’t know. I attended two WVU football games last fall and there were no known cases or the university wouldn’t have allowed fans to come back to other games. There were 10,000-12,000 fans and so much space between people one could really sit anywhere he/she chose.

  3. This is good news and not surprising….I will never attend a sporting event if I have to wear a mask. 20 year Penguin season ticket holder and already informed them that if they are required I will be cancelling my seats.

  4. Of course this whole thing out of the gate has never been medical always about control and we let these tyrants violate our rights and ruin peoples lives and business its just criminal and shame on us for putting up with it. Its well past time to get back to normal and live our lives like a free people that our constitution says we are.

  5. I’m shocked we found another nothingburger from the lie known as covid.

    Back to our regularly scheduled flu season…well until the next election. Then superghonnera will be unleashed.

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