The NHL announced on Tuesday that it would end its regular season and begin its playoffs in a special format featuring the top 24 teams soon, to be held in two US “hub” cities following a training camp period.
It’s an unusual setup, with more than three-quarters of the teams in the league qualifying for the playoffs, not to mention lots of special coronavirus rules and testing for NHL players and employees. Plus, there are still other details that have yet to be ironed out.
All that aside, how do NHL fans feel about the big-picture plan? CivicScience surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adult NHL watchers about the plan, and found overwhelming support for the idea.
Although more than 4 out of 5 NHL fans endorsed the idea, most supporters say they only “somewhat support” the plan, indicating that some may have reservations.
Those who attend sporting events most often have the strongest levels of support for the proposal — although it’s unclear whether audiences will be allowed in the arenas where the televised games will take place.
And it’s possible that the desire to resume playing fantasy sports plays a role in support for this plan as well. NHL fans who’ve played fantasy sports were substantially more likely to “strongly support” the plan than other NHL watchers.
Although nearly one-fifth of NHL fans have concerns about the league’s plan to resume playing amid the coronavirus pandemic, it appears that the vast majority are OK with it — even if they have some reservations.