Goodtill was acquired by SumUp. To see what's new, visit

Sports Stadiums tackling Social Distancing

Jonathan Hunot, Co-founder talks about the public sentiment around a return to stadium spectator sports through the phased ease of lockdown restrictions.


Large crowd cheering in stadium


“We also want fans to be able to enjoy a pint or a pie safely, so once people are attending games again the next priority is to use COVID secure mobile ordering technology and processes to help us deliver that safely to our fans.” 

– Danny Macklin, Chief Executive for Leyton Orient Football Club

Things have changed since the innocent days of pre-covid, and even the simplest activities seem to have gotten just a little bit more complicated. This has affected the hospitality industry like no other. Whether it’s going out to dinner at a restaurant right down to sports fans enjoying refreshments at a stadium match, businesses across industries are looking for ways to address and soothe concerns as we get closer to a full hospitality reopening.

Sports stadiums started to open their gates to fans in early December – short-lived however as further lockdown restrictions were passed by the end of the month. This did give us the opportunity to consider the changing attitudes of fans attending sporting events now that we’ve passed the 12-month mark post-lockdown. We looked into the following for some insight into the challenges stadiums may be facing moving forward:

  • Are fans apprehensive about ‘mixing’ with lots of people for the first time in about 12 months? 
  • Are fans put-off from going altogether? 
  • Alternatively, were fans incredibly keen to get back into their season ticket seat?  



Our study

We commissioned a nationally representative 2,000 sample survey with YouGov on the 1st of December 2020 to see if we could get some current insight into the general sentiment around stadium spectator sports.

We were able to highlight some public concerns around the safety of fans in and out of the grounds on match days:

  • 83% of respondents said that they are concerned about fans going to stadiums. The biggest safety concerns focused on managing social distancing.
  • 57% are worried fans will ignore social distancing around bars and food stalls, and equally,
  • 57% said they don’t see how the stadiums and clubs can enforce social distancing outside the grounds.
  • 43% of people surveyed expressing concern about overexcited fans and potential anti-social behaviour.



What does that mean for you?

Building trust is key to relieve customer concerns; making strong and decisive moves to address any possible risk. This could also go a long way in reassuring your customers that you’re prioritising their health and safety.

We at Goodtill are working with many clubs and stadiums to make sure this vital part of the sports venue experience continues, especially when clubs and stadiums can open their doors again! We do this by minimising any unnecessary interactions, helping fans get access to food and drinks from their seats and eliminating queues through Goodeats solutions enabling remote and contactless order fulfilment and payment processing as well as stadium specific solutions such as in-seat ordering.

It’s our job to help clubs and stadiums implement the best sports hospitality systems on offer. We want to make sure that they, and the fans, can enjoy sporting events with little reservations in the stands.



A view from Leyton Orient FC

We asked our customer, Danny Macklin, Chief Executive for Leyton Orient Football Club for his thoughts when The Breyer Group Stadium re-opened in November: 

“Ensuring the safety of all of our spectators and players is paramount. We have put in place a range of processes to get to the position where we can safely welcome fans back into the grounds to support their teams in person. The first priority is to get as many people in as we can safely and we are confident we can allay any safety concerns fans may have when they see for themselves the stringent measures we have in place.”

Understandably, the public has concerns about going back into stadiums as we’re looking at a potential venue reopening on the 21st of June 2021. After all, we’re now navigating a new way of enjoying sports en masse with as little interaction as possible.

The doors to stadiums are once again closed, but we hope to see the turnstiles in action again soon!