5 Major Sporting Events Going Down This Summer—With Fans in Attendance

Sports, Fans, Events, COVID-19
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The pandemic has been tough on sports fans. While most major sports have thankfully resumed their regularly scheduled programming, fan attendance is still a rarity, as governing bodies look to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The good news is that fans are gradually being welcomed back to major sporting events all over the world—from the United States, to Europe, and even further afield. In fact, some of the biggest sporting events of the summer are expected to go down with fans in attendance.

Without further ado, here are five major sporting events that fans can attend in person before the summer is out.

Belmont Stakes – June 8

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We’ll start by conceding that this popular horse race isn’t actually happening in the summer—the season officially starts on June 21—but it’s an important one, and it’s going to be crawling with fans.

The race, which marks the third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown series, goes down at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Just like the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, which welcomed approximately 52,000 and 10,000 fans respectively, it will go down in front of a significant crowd, with an expected attendance of about 11,000 people.

Euro 2020 – June 11 to July 11

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The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship—abridged to Euro 2020—is set to go down from June 11 to July 11 across 11 countries, including England, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain.

Amazingly, all 11 host cities are expected welcome fans back—and in pretty significant numbers, according to UEFA.

Budapest, for example, aims to welcome fans back at 100% capacity, while Saint Petersburg, and Baku are expected to do so at rates of 50%. Amsterdam, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Rome and Seville will be hosting at roughly 25%–33% of pre-pandemic stadium capacity. London and Munich, meanwhile, are expected to welcome fans back at roughly 25% capacity.

Wimbledon – June 28 to July 11

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Wimbledon, one of the biggest events in tennis, is expected to go down in front of a significant, albeit smaller-than-normal crowd this year.

The 13-day tournament, which kicks off on June 28, is expected to welcome roughly 25% of its typical attendance. For context, in 2019—the last year the event occurred—total attendance clocked in at 500,397.

“We are confident we will be able to increase our ticketing capacities for the championships this year beyond the minimum 25% position we set out last month,” Organizers told BBC.

“However, we also understand that there remains much discussion amongst government and public health authorities on this topic in light of the Indian variant, and we are committed to remaining flexible in our approach so that we are able to react accordingly.”

UFC 254 – July 10

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The UFC was one of the first sports organizations to start welcoming fans back to its events, with massive crowds attending the recent UFC 261 and 262 cards in Jacksonville, Florida and Houston, Texas.

That trend will continue with UFC 254 on July 10 in Las Vegas. The card, which will be topped by a tie-breaking trilogy fight between lightweight rivals Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, is expected to be one of the biggest combat sports events of the year.

Case in point: All 20,000 available tickets sold out in a matter of minutes—though that’s no surprise for fight cards involving Mr. McGregor.

NBA Finals – July 22 Latest

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The NBA Playoffs kick off on May 22, and the Finals game will go down by July 22 at the latest. The setting of that game depends on which teams are battling for the league’s ultimate prize, but all signs point to a packed house.

At present, nearly every team has welcomed fans back to its home arena. In fact, the Oklahoma City Thunder is the only to team to refrain from welcoming fans back—and their season has already ended.

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