Report of potential 20,000 crowd at October rugby clash is encouraging

John Reid September 2, 2020
Report of potential 20,000 crowd at October rugby clash is encouraging
Photo by Paul Harding - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

The plan to get fans back into sports stadiums in the United Kingdom has gone up a notch.

BBC Sport reports that the rugby union match between England and the Barbarians on the 25th of October could take place with a crowd of 20,000 at Twickenham.

That would be by far the largest crowd to attend any sporting event in the United Kingdom since March.

The RFU must get approval from the authorities before the proposed attendance is granted, and you imagine that they will be working hard on those now.

Stadium would be less than a quarter full

Interestingly, as Twickenham as a capacity of 82,500, the stadium would be less than a quarter full.

Even though gathering 20,000 people in a venue seems like a gamble, overall this proposal seems like a good idea for British sport.

Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images

Sooner or later sport has to go back to some sort of normality. You can’t play behind closed doors forever.

The first steps towards this were taken at the world snooker championship final in Sheffield. The final had much more of an atmosphere with a crowd in attendance. Watching you couldn’t really tell that there was a distance between the members of the audience, even though there was.

That was a very small attendance compared to the plans for the rugby. However, it was a start, and one that was a success.

Now rugby union is looking to take that next step when it comes to attendances.

One advantage that the plan has is the size of Twickenham. You could easily distance 20,000 people in the stadium safely with the correct measures.

If the plan succeeds, then hopefully fans can be introduced to more stadiums in more sports by the end of the year.

Some fans are better than none

At first, it might only be a quarter full stadium like the plan for Twickenham. Still, that is better than nothing.

Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images

Watching sport behind closed doors just isn’t the same. Piped in crowd effects are no match for the noise generated by a crowd, even in a quarter full stadium.

Hopefully the plan gets the go ahead and is a huge success. As a result, other sports can look to bring in fans.

The return of fans to sport, even a small number, would show that sport is beginning to return to normal in Great Britain.

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John Reid is an experienced journalist, specialising in Scottish football for a number of years.