Poll reveals terror attacks concern sports fans


In a recent sporting poll conducted by Seton Hall, 73 percent of Americans said they are concerned about attending a sporting event in a large venue following the Paris terrorist attacks.

In the November survey conducted by the Sports Poll staff at the Sharkey Institute, 879 adults were called by telephone and asked their opinion on whether they were cautious about attending these events. There is a 3.3 percent margin of error in the poll, which means the data is 96.7 percent accurate.

Ann Mayo, director of the Stillman School’s Center for Sport Management, said the poll was conducted through phone calls to numbers on a list bought from vendors. The phone numbers were randomly dialed by the center’s VoIP system. VoIP is voiceover-IP, the way phone calls are carried over an IP data network. Students then ask questions following a script.

Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, said the telephone numbers are called Mon
day through Wednesday from 4-11 p.m.

In the November poll, adults were reminded that there was a terror attack outside soccer stadium Stade de France in Paris. Callers asked adults how and if the terror attacks made them concerned about attending sporting events in large venues in the United States.

In the survey, 34 percent of respondents said that they are “very concerned” when attending sporting events in large venues while 39 percent said they are “somewhat concerned.”

However, some respondents said they feel no different in regards their safety in large venues following the Paris attacks. Of the adults polled, 23 percent said that “it makes no difference” and 4 percent “didn’t know.”

The poll was conducted Nov. 16-18, just days after the Paris attacks. “We asked the question after learning of the attack near the soccer stadium as details started to come out,” Gentile said. A poll is conducted once a month on breaking news in the sports industry and so when the Paris attacks happened, the November poll was conducted regarding venue safety.

Here on the Seton Hall campus, Meghan Tobin, a freshman communications studies major, said that she is terrified knowing that terrorists target large events. While she does not worry about sporting events, she is concerned about places that gather big crowds like concerts and public ceremonies.

Andrew Proctor, freshman broadcast and visual media major, said that the Paris attacks have not made him worry about going to a stadium here in the United States. Tyler Cevetello, a freshman communication major, said that he is not concerned either.

“We can’t be afraid to live our lives and be forced to miss out on experiences because of an unlikely and uncommon event,” Cevetello said.

Proctor said that terrorist attacks might, “Cause more large scale stadiums and sporting events, especially the Olympics Games, to beef up security in numbers, training and equipment for detecting illegal or harmful objects.”

The Seton Hall Sports Poll website said it debuted in 2006 with a poll on the Olympic Games that year.

The polls are conducted by The Sharkey Institute and are independent with no sponsors. Donors Thomas Sharkey, a 1954 Seton Hall alumnus, and his wife, Ruth, funded the Sports Poll at the Sharkey Institute.

The poll’s website says, “It is the first and only university-based, ongoing polling service to delve into the multi-billion dollar sport industry, and its findings serve as a barometer of public opinion on the many important issues confronting sport today.”

Mayo, the sports management director, said that the polls cover a wide range of topics including public funding and tax breaks for stadiums and franchises, ethical behavior and equality for women’s sports.

ESPN, Bloomberg L.P. and the Associated Press have featured the University’s sport poll results.

The poll has been conducted for nine years, “as a teaching tool and to provide a service to sports media as well as further the Seton Hall brand,” Gentile said.

Samantha Todd can be reached at samantha.todd@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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