How will/should LR and other stadiums open/reopen to fans?

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Guildford Bee

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It seems increasingly clear that, much like everything else, sports stadiums will not suddenly reopen to huge crowds in one go whether it be in the autumn, new year or even next summer.

I don’t believe we’ll be going back to how things are any time soon but I also don’t believe we’ll be hanging around for a vaccine which may never materialise.

Much like everything else, I think the reopening of stadiums will be gradual. In the same ways that supermarkets operate with limited capacity and social distancing, and pubs and restaurants will do the same, sports stadiums will at first open at, say, 25% capacity or whatever is needed to ensure people are far enough apart

So how could that work?

In the US they’re already looking at staggered entry and exit times, increasing sanitation areas and using apps to advise which toilets etc have the smallest queues.

Could that work with an English football fanbase who are all used to turning up between 2.30 and 3? I think it’ll have to.

The other big issue will of course be ticketing. If LR were to open with a 4,500 capacity and no away fans, who gets first dibs? Could members of the same household sit together?

Thoughts welcome on how it might work without getting into the usual squabbles...
 
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Guildford Bee

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Either we’re all allowed in or nothing.

Is the same going to be true of pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres etc?

As I said, I don’t believe that one day we all won’t be allowed in stadiums and the next we all will. That won’t be the case with anything else and I doubt it will be with this...
 

Babbelfish

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I suspect what you describe, Guildford, will be what will happen - but maybe with fewer fans than 4,500. Watching the Dortmund match this afternoon, I thought that if the stadium were a tenth full it might work in terms of both social distancing and creating at least a bit of atmosphere.
 

The Joker

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Either we’re all allowed in or nothing.
But if 'all allowed' is not possible then what's the next best option?

Nobody's thinking "all or nothing" as we look to return to work on public transport...
 

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I was thinking about using one of the bees games.left to create a safety test of LR and live.broadcast to the screens. Can't image more than 1000 showing up or tickets could be sold. Should be possible to social distance. It outdoors a month away and we need a test?
 
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Guildford Bee

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I was thinking about using one of the bees games.left to create a safety test of LR and live.broadcast to the screens. Can't image more than 1000 showing up or tickets could be sold. Should be possible to social distance. It outdoors a month away and we need a test?
Can’t see that happening this season, sadly, as it would still be classed as a large gathering.
 

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I suspect what you describe, Guildford, will be what will happen - but maybe with fewer fans than 4,500. Watching the Dortmund match this afternoon, I thought that if the stadium were a tenth full it might work in terms of both social distancing and creating at least a bit of atmosphere.
I thought the same about the remaining games of the season.... 12500 tickets sold for the Barnsley game.... five home games left .... 2500 per game, and pot luck as to which one you get a ticket for.
 

rebus

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But if 'all allowed' is not possible then what's the next best option?

Nobody's thinking "all or nothing" as we look to return to work on public transport...
There is no next best option. I don’t know how they would police this with Lionel Road a third or quarter full. Stay six foot away at all times? There is not a chance of this happening.
 

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There is no next best option. I don’t know how they would police this with Lionel Road a third or quarter full. Stay six foot away at all times? There is not a chance of this happening.
Yeah but if the rules become 1m. And everyone wears a facemask....
 

rebus

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Yeah but if the rules become 1m. And everyone wears a facemask....
Still looking at 6000 at Lionel Road and who qualifies for a ticket? How are we going to get a atmosphere going wearing a face mask?!
 

Banana

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Still looking at 6000 at Lionel Road and who qualifies for a ticket? How are we going to get a atmosphere going wearing a face mask?!
It's not a sound barrier. And it will certainly be better than sitting at home.
 

Mr Cynical

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Still looking at 6000 at Lionel Road and who qualifies for a ticket? How are we going to get a atmosphere going wearing a face mask?!
Equally that's a significant reduction in match day revenue and presumably none of the bars will be open so you're looking at a huge loss every time we put on a game...
 

cheshirebee

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There is no next best option. I don’t know how they would police this with Lionel Road a third or quarter full. Stay six foot away at all times? There is not a chance of this happening.
Realistically, there has to be a next best option as, unfortunately, there’s no way of jumping straight to full stadiums.
I can see LR graduating from 2,000 to 4,000 to 6,000 before getting anywhere near a full house which would surely only come when a vaccine was available.
I’d happily take that right now. If my ST got me into every 3rd or 4th game, happy days.
 

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Maybe in future to get into the ground you either need to produce proof that you have Confid 19 and therefore immune from any further infection or spreading of the disease (once confirmed). Or that you have had the vaccine within a valid time frame etc etc. Appreciate we are sometime off these solutions but without one or both cannot see crowds going to pubs and restaurants let alone sporting events.
 
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Guildford Bee

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Equally that's a significant reduction in match day revenue and presumably none of the bars will be open so you're looking at a huge loss every time we put on a game...
Not as much of a revenue loser as playing every game behind closed doors.
 
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Guildford Bee

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Maybe in future to get into the ground you either need to produce proof that you have Confid 19 and therefore immune from any further infection or spreading of the disease (once confirmed). Or that you have had the vaccine within a valid time frame etc etc. Appreciate we are sometime off these solutions but without one or both cannot see crowds going to pubs and restaurants let alone sporting events.
Pubs and restaurants are already reopening in many parts of the world with social distancing. The same, eventually, will be true of sports stadiums.
 

The Joker

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There is no next best option. I don’t know how they would police this with Lionel Road a third or quarter full. Stay six foot away at all times? There is not a chance of this happening.
We've sold what, 9500 season tickets?

Let's say it's a 'basic' experience at first. So some corporates (who've bought for the experience) drop out.

Maybe we ask those with child STs to stay home (their time will come).

Some adults won't want to risk it yet.

No away fans allowed at the start.

Then maybe you're in the right range for those who will attend. And it will be your hardcore support who deserve to be there...
 

Mr Cynical

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Not as much of a revenue loser as playing every game behind closed doors.
No, which is why I think it's unlikely we'll see a substantial number of games played this way in the Championship and hardly any/none at all at lower levels. It's just not financially viable. I think Premier League will be in for a shock too if they go ahead as Sky will pretty soon realise they've got a substandard product and will be looking at a substantial refund on what they've paid for the games.

The whole thing is an absolute nightmare for any kind of public event and it's difficult to see how we can get around it until there's some kind of treatment/vaccine or an enormous and successful testing programme both for the virus and for antibodies. It'll only take a small outbreak at one game and everything will go nuclear... It's all pretty depressing I'm afraid..
 

mhead bee

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There is no next best option. I don’t know how they would police this with Lionel Road a third or quarter full. Stay six foot away at all times? There is not a chance of this happening.
The policing would be much easier if the stadium is only a quarter full and everyone is 2 metres apart, what exactly do they need to police?
 

mhead bee

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Pubs and restaurants are already reopening in many parts of the world with social distancing. The same, eventually, will be true of sports stadiums.
Yup, just a matter of time.

Infections will drop, things will open, infections will stop rising, more will open, infections will drop, more will open. etc etc. We will all be in the new stadium before you know it.
 

Mr Cynical

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So what is the alternative, not play at all?
Basically, yes. Or massively cut back on costs which means stripping back the playing squad, coaching staff and B team and renegotiating contracts where possible. :shrug:
 

beesbees_bfc

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Maybe in future to get into the ground you either need to produce proof that you have Confid 19 and therefore immune from any further infection or spreading of the disease (once confirmed). Or that you have had the vaccine within a valid time frame etc etc. Appreciate we are sometime off these solutions but without one or both cannot see crowds going to pubs and restaurants let alone sporting events.
Problem is, if you start ‘penalising’ people who haven’t had the virus by stating some activities (often those people are most passionate about) are only accessible for people who’ve had covid19 you risk encouraging some behaviour that directly contradicts what’s wanted/needed.

For example, as a large group of brentford fans, predominantly made up of healthy young men aged between 25-35, I strongly suspect that if they were told the only way they could go back to Brentford (and potentially gigs and other things) the first response would be to do all they can to catch the virus as all will see it as low risk to doing them any serious damage and worth the risk.
 

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Pubs and restaurants are already reopening in many parts of the world with social distancing. The same, eventually, will be true of sports stadiums.
The problem is that's its early days, we don't really know the full impact of doing this. It may work OK or maybe not. If it does not work and the R data goes up then it's back to square 1 atm. At best it will take some time.
 
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Kingston Bee

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Problem is, if you start ‘penalising’ people who haven’t had the virus by stating some activities (often those people are most passionate about) are only accessible for people who’ve had covid19 you risk encouraging some behaviour that directly contradicts what’s wanted/needed.

For example, as a large group of brentford fans, predominantly made up of healthy young men aged between 25-35, I strongly suspect that if they were told the only way they could go back to Brentford (and potentially gigs and other things) the first response would be to do all they can to catch the virus as all will see it as low risk to doing them any serious damage and worth the risk.
It's not anly about the young men of Brentford though is it, that is the problem. We as a society have to control the spread of the virus, that unfortunately many of the younger generation fail to or don't want to grasp.
 

ruislip bee

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It's not anly about the young men of Brentford though is it, that is the problem. We as a society have to control the spread of the virus, that unfortunately many of the younger generation fail to or don't want to grasp.
Being a man of a certain age I certainly don't want to risk catching it just so as I can go to the Bees and the pub.
 
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Guildford Bee

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The problem is that's its early days, we don't really know the full impact of doing this. It may work OK or maybe not. If it does not work and the R data goes up then it's back to square 1 atm. At best it will take some time.
Absolutely. All of this is very much contingent on the infection rate coming down and deaths slowing to all but nothing. And if that happens, things aren’t just going to wait for a vaccine before they start to get going again.
 

Kingston Bee

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Being a man of a certain age I certainly don't want to risk catching it just so as I can go to the Bees and the pub.
Exactly my point, you will only return when you feel safe. Suspect knowing there are potentially a percentage of people in the crowd albeit a small number that could spread the virus, will put many people off, others may be willing to take their chances.
 

Kingston Bee

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Absolutely. All of this is very much contingent on the infection rate coming down and deaths slowing to all but nothing. And if that happens, things aren’t just going to wait for a vaccine before they start to get going again.
Yes fair point, whatever happens it looks like the there will be a drop out of people who would have attended such events before the virus was around. If this is the way forward will be interesting how the club manages this, and the loss of revenue that will occur.
 

beesbees_bfc

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It's not anly about the young men of Brentford though is it, that is the problem. We as a society have to control the spread of the virus, that unfortunately many of the younger generation fail to or don't want to grasp.
Thats was kind of my point too, I have not suggested anything that penalises any age group, I’m pointing out that if you create a ‘two tier’ hierarchy of who can and can’t do things then you risk large swathes of people (potentially the majority of people under 45 (randomise arbitrary number)) trying to go out and catch it at the same time (as soon as your hierarchal legislation is passed) which will increase the risk for those vulnerable and older groups you’re trying to protect...especially if those older groups now feel safer due to the legislation and therefore head out to football games and other large gatherings.

A secondary risk being, unless the surrounding pubs and eateries have similar measures in place, you will have large groups of people (some with,some without the virus) mixing.
 

Kingston Bee

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Thats was kind of my point too, I have not suggested anything that penalises any age group, I’m pointing out that if you create a ‘two tier’ hierarchy of who can and can’t do things then you risk large swathes of people (potentially the majority of people under 45 (randomise arbitrary number)) trying to go out and catch it at the same time (as soon as your hierarchal legislation is passed) which will increase the risk for those vulnerable and older groups you’re trying to protect...especially if those older groups now feel safer due to the legislation and therefore head out to football games and other large gatherings.

A secondary risk being, unless the surrounding pubs and eateries have similar measures in place, you will have large groups of people (some with,some without the virus) mixing.
You have outlined how complex this issue is, or could become. May come down to a personal decision as to whether to attend games or not, based on risk. But by default you may well end up with a two tier hierarchy.
 

beesbees_bfc

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You have outlined how complex this issue is, or could become. May come down to a personal decision as to whether to attend games or not, based on risk. But by default you may well end up with a two tier hierarchy.
I agree and we’re all on the same side mate, want to be back enjoying football again whilst keeping everyone safe and healthy!

Assuming no miracle treatment or vaccine available in the near future (hopefully with a very low R number), the key is going to come down to individuals taking responsibility for their own personal risk and making a decision for themselves.

The risk profile is clearly vastly different for different people...the economic risk and delayed social development of young children is a far far bigger risk to me personally than the virus, whereas an older, obese man with underlying health conditions (especially if mortgage or housing largely paid and potentially guaranteed pension) Clearly has a far greater risk from virus than any restrictions.

Gatherings and events will be an extension of that. I think we all agree, for the greater good (maybe Tom being the exception) that a period of restrictions to reduce the spread, protect the NHS and learn more about treatments etc is necessary, where we may diverge is how we move from there towards normality including Brentford.

I don’t have the answers and will comply with whatever the scientists recommend, but I’d be very wary of a hads vs not hads for lots of reasons.

Probably no more to be said on this one, I can see why you’ve come up with it and no idea is perfect just highlighting the pitfalls...but who knows it might be the best of a bad set of options available.

All the best to you and yours Kingston
 

Gee Bee

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Yes fair point, whatever happens it looks like the there will be a drop out of people who would have attended such events before the virus was around. If this is the way forward will be interesting how the club manages this, and the loss of revenue that will occur.
The loss of revenue for others will likely be greater impact and actually move us closer. I think that clubs will start looking to their academies and reduce number of senior squad players. We have a very good functioning B squad that will put us in a better position imho
 

Stanley

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I think Rebus is right on this , it will either be all or nothing with maybe a ban on away fans to start with. If the significant falling infection rate in London is mirrored elsewhere in the UK (and maintained) then maybe mass gatherings are not as far away as we first thought a short while ago ( although not any time soon for GP sadly).
 

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I agree and we’re all on the same side mate, want to be back enjoying football again whilst keeping everyone safe and healthy!

Assuming no miracle treatment or vaccine available in the near future (hopefully with a very low R number), the key is going to come down to individuals taking responsibility for their own personal risk and making a decision for themselves.

The risk profile is clearly vastly different for different people...the economic risk and delayed social development of young children is a far far bigger risk to me personally than the virus, whereas an older, obese man with underlying health conditions (especially if mortgage or housing largely paid and potentially guaranteed pension) Clearly has a far greater risk from virus than any restrictions.

Gatherings and events will be an extension of that. I think we all agree, for the greater good (maybe Tom being the exception) that a period of restrictions to reduce the spread, protect the NHS and learn more about treatments etc is necessary, where we may diverge is how we move from there towards normality including Brentford.

I don’t have the answers and will comply with whatever the scientists recommend, but I’d be very wary of a hads vs not hads for lots of reasons.

Probably no more to be said on this one, I can see why you’ve come up with it and no idea is perfect just highlighting the pitfalls...but who knows it might be the best of a bad set of options available.

All the best to you and yours Kingston
....agree with all of that.....risk to the economy versus risk from covid..
....assessment is fluid.....ever changing landscape.....guess we just have to place trust in the economists and scientists working together on this.
 

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You have outlined how complex this issue is, or could become. May come down to a personal decision as to whether to attend games or not, based on risk. But by default you may well end up with a two tier hierarchy.
There will be a greater shielding of the most vulnerable being those of specific age groups and underlying health conditions imho. Regular testing of these groups as well as key workers will help. Restricting numbers in pubs and restaurants will probably need to happen with more ordering via Apps etc. Even ordering food before going in. Retail shops will also need social distance measures and no trying on clothes etc. Until there is a vaccine you can try and mitigate, reduce the risk only. For football matches I can see effort to get people in to see game only and not have pre and post match food and drink available with evens local bars and restaurants not opening etc.
 

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There will be a greater shielding of the most vulnerable being those of specific age groups and underlying health conditions imho. Regular testing of these groups as well as key workers will help. Restricting numbers in pubs and restaurants will probably need to happen with more ordering via Apps etc. Even ordering food before going in. Retail shops will also need social distance measures and no trying on clothes etc. Until there is a vaccine you can try and mitigate, reduce the risk only. For football matches I can see effort to get people in to see game only and not have pre and post match food and drink available with evens local bars and restaurants not opening etc.
Don't disagree, but you can see why many supporters of all ages will feel the risk is too great. Even someone in their 20s or 30s living with an older family member may feel uncomfortable in potentially exposing them to the risk by attending games. It's not black and white but may be the only way forward.
 

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I think Rebus is right on this , it will either be all or nothing with maybe a ban on away fans to start with. If the significant falling infection rate in London is mirrored elsewhere in the UK (and maintained) then maybe mass gatherings are not as far away as we first thought a short while ago ( although not any time soon for GP sadly).
All I would say if it's all or nothing then it's going to be a very long time waiting for adequate testing/vaccine being available. I don't have a problem with this approach as I have said previously, but deep down I think smaller steps will take place before then.
 

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I seem to recall us being socially distanced in the stands during that 2007/08 season when the average gate wasn’t much over 4,000
 

mhead bee

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Basically, yes. Or massively cut back on costs which means stripping back the playing squad, coaching staff and B team and renegotiating contracts where possible. :shrug:
Football clubs will go bang if we sit at home with the door locked until we get a cure. We are not going to lock up indoors for another year, it ain’t gonna happen.

The world has to move on and will do so even if it is to a different set of rules.

It is far more likely we become better at dealing with the symptoms then find a cure for it completely.
 

mhead bee

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Being a man of a certain age I certainly don't want to risk catching it just so as I can go to the Bees and the pub.
This is exactly it. Those that are vulnerable or just plain terrified should lock up indoors and stay safe.

We don’t need the whole world to do that forever, those at little risk or no risk or have had it can go back to living their lives and dragging us out of an horrific pending recession.
 

mhead bee

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Absolutely. All of this is very much contingent on the infection rate coming down and deaths slowing to all but nothing. And if that happens, things aren’t just going to wait for a vaccine before they start to get going again.
Agree 100%
 

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Firstly not sure of the maths but allowing for safe distancing to the side and in front and behind, surely you'll only be talking of a relatively small number of seats available in our case. Again, in our case this may just about be manageable. Home fans only. If you decide to break the rules your ST is rescinded. Structured entry and exit times. However, how will the bigger stadiums manage this. Will they have the facilities and policing available to manage and deal.with say 15000 (randomly selecting just 20%) people in Man Utds case inside and outside the stadium.
 

mhead bee

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I think Rebus is right on this , it will either be all or nothing
I would bet anything that you are both completely wrong. The only way it will be “all” is if we get a cure. Life is not going on hold for years, no chance.

We have sold around 6000 ST, in 3 months time (or whatever it is) things will have moved on to the point where those 6000 with masks and distancing can go to games.

It may not be ideal or why you and rebus would like it to be (or anyone else come to that) but we will h e to move forward with a different set of rules.
 

rebus

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The policing would be much easier if the stadium is only a quarter full and everyone is 2 metres apart, what exactly do they need to police?
Have you been to a match where people stay two metres apart at all times? This is fantasy.
 

mhead bee

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Have you been to a match where people stay two metres apart at all times? This is fantasy.
Have you lived in a world before where people had to lock up indoors for three months and socially distance while the entire global economy collapsed. No you haven’t.

You have to be willing to adapt and change to move the world forward. If that means sitting in a seat with a spare seat between you for a few months then that is what we will do.

If you are not capable then you should not go.
 
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