Opening Mexican soccer stadiums is quite safe, says expert

On Friday, Necaxa, in the state of Aguascalientes, and Mazatlán, in Sinaloa, became the first teams to allow fans to enter the stadiums

Open stadiums in the mexican soccer during the pandemic of COVID-19 has a large margin of securitySaid this Saturday the former special commissioner for the care of influenza AH1N1 in Mexico, Alejandro Macías.

“If we have a limited capacity, 30 percent to start, we take care that the entrances and exits are in order, that there is use of the mask, it is reasonably safe to open the stadiums, although the risk of contagion will never be zero,” he explained to Efe .

The measures suggested by Dr. Macías are stipulated in the protocol of the Liga MX, except 30 percent of aficionados, since the amount of capacity will be decided by the authorities.

On Friday, the Necaxa, in the state of Aguascalientes, and Mazatlan, in Sinaloa, they became the first teams to allow fans to enter, despite the fact that both states are orange traffic light, which means according to the Government “if you can, stay home.”

Macías assured that if we wait for the curve of positive cases to drop in Mexico, we would have to go through another eight months.

We have to resume activities cautiously, we cannot wait for the curve to go down because it is stagnant. The fact that stadiums are open spaces in Mexico makes the risk of contagion lower, ”added Macías.

On average, a Liga MX team collects between 20 and 35 percent of its earnings from the box office, according to reports in the Mexican press.

“Allowing fans to enter does not represent so much money, but it serves to recover sponsors, who give you money for having their brands in the stadium or pay because your property bears their name,” the sports business expert told Efe Luis Ramon Carazo.

In this return to the stadiums, the teams face factors that play against them, one of them, almost 1.2 million people lost their jobs during the pandemic, according to data from August of the Mexican Social Security Institute.

“It would be desirable that in the long run Mexican soccer had more competitiveness, that it be a show that offered more for the paid ticket,” Carazo concluded.

Another aspect that works against is the fear of fans to go to the stadiums. After the AH1N1 flu epidemic, attendance in Mexican baseball dropped by as much as 30 percent, according to a Towson University study.

Giving fans a sense of security in stadiums will be the main point that teams must work on, in the opinion of the psychologist Michelangelo Fritz.

“If I see people without face masks and nobody says anything to them, I won’t want to go back to the stadium. The teams must sell the perception of security and that occurs with consistency, that the protocols are followed and that the players and coaching staff lead by example, ”added Fritz, who worked for the Sultanes de Monterrey, a Mexican baseball team.

After the opening in Aguascalientes and Mazatlán, Puebla announced that it will be the next team to allow fans into its stadium from the fifteenth day of Guardians 2020, next Friday, October 23.

With information from EFE

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