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Demand for public events in the Covid-19 pandemic: a case study of European football

This study uses data from elite-level European football matches and panel data methods to suggest how people responded to the initial Covid-19 outbreak. In Italy, England and Germany, stadium attendances were negatively affected by the previous day's newly confirmed domestic cases or deaths. In France and Spain, there was no significant attendance response to the early stages of the domestic outbreaks. In all five countries, there was no negative attendance response to the number of worldwide cases or deaths as the outbreak developed. Overall, these results confirm that Covid-19 was affecting football match spectator demand before European countries enforced lockdowns and other restrictions to suppress the spread of the disease. This suggests that fans significantly responded to the risk of catching the virus. If this risk remains when stadiums reopen, then sports organisations should expect reduced ticket demand.

Lead investigator:

J. James Reade


University of Reading

Primary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:

Publicly available

Unit of real-time data collection


End date




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