Americans might be able to pack into a stadium and root on their favorite teams by late summer 2021, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
College and professional sports have been competing throughout the last few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, mostly with no fans or limited attendance. Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, thinks full-capacity crowds are still a little while off.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports’ Henry Bushnell, Fauci said filling stadiums and arenas to capacity will be one of “the last thing[s] that you’re gonna see” as the nation makes progress in its fight with COVID-19.
Fauci went on to provide a general timeline of when uncapped crowds might become reality, given the multiple promising vaccines reportedly soon-to-be-available.
“We’re gonna be vaccinating the highest-priority people [from] the end of December through January, February, March,” Fauci said. “By the time you get to the general public, the people who’ll be going to the basketball games, who don’t have any underlying conditions, that’s gonna be starting the end of April, May, June. So it probably will be well into the end of the summer before you can really feel comfortable [with full sports stadiums] – if a lot of people get vaccinated. I don’t think we’re going to be that normal in July. I think it probably would be by the end of the summer.”
As for NFL football next fall, Fauci called it “possible” that those games could be played in front of fully filled stadiums.
Of course, until that point, you will see team abide by different rules according to where they play. Some states are allowing limited capacity crowds at indoor and outdoor events, while others are banning fans altogether.
Hopefully, over the next several months, we start to see some light at the end of the tunnel.