ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Sports events and movies are likely still a long way off from happening in New Mexico when considering COVID 19 restrictions. However, the results of a recent KRQE News 13 survey show a sizeable group of New Mexicans think those types of events should be happening now or soon.
New Mexico hasn’t had a crowd at a sports venue or movie theater since March. The experience is something several people told News 13 Friday that they miss.
“Going to a theater, sitting with you know, 100 people in the dark, you know, once again smelling the popcorn. It’s the atmosphere that you cannot get in a home theatre,” Albuquerque resident Mike said in front of the shuttered Winrock IMAX theater.
“I’ve always enjoyed the movies, it’s comfortable,” said Lynn, looking at the closure signs posted outside another Albuquerque theater Friday. The state still hasn’t given a timeline on when theaters can seat crowds again but says they’ll likely come in later phases of reopening.
A recent KRQE News 13 poll showed out of nearly 4,300 respondents, more than 30% of people think the movie theaters should be open now. About 10% of respondents said theaters should reopen June 1. More than 20% of respondents said movie theatres should open again in mid-June.
In the realm of sports, about 40% of respondents said they’d go to a live sporting events with no restrictions today. 60% of respondents said they wouldn’t. Nearly 4,300 people answered that question.
Even if sports were allowed by state rules, it’s unclear if any leagues would even have games with continued social distancing expected, which could limit the number of fans inside venues. Home of the New Mexico United soccer team, the United Soccer League (USL) has postponed the United’s season indefinitely.
Minor League Baseball has halted the Albuquerque Isotopes’ season, as well. With no revenue from television broadcast agreements, minor league teams would lose even more money by playing in empty stadiums. “We are here for the fan experience, and without fans in the ballpark, we don’t have a product,” Albuquerque Isotopes General Manager John Traub said in a May 1 interview with KRQE News 13.
The NCAA is leaving it up to individual colleges to decide how to proceed with their seasons. The University of New Mexico announced Friday that it would be moving to “contactless ticketing” for football and basketball this season. However, it’s unclear if fans will be allowed in the stands in the fall.
About 60% of the people who took the KRQE News 13 survey said sporting events should be allowed in New Mexico without crowds. The NMAA finished the 2020 state basketball tournament without fans in March. That organization hasn’t said yet what they’re thinking will happen for sports in Fall 2020.
New Mexico Coronavirus Resources
- Tracking Coronavirus in New Mexico
- Tracking Coronavirus in Navajo Nation
- Trendline Charts: New Mexico Coronavirus Cases by County, by Day
- COVID-19 case by state, global statistics, maps
- COVID-19 Projections: when will coronavirus be over?
- COVID-19 Testing Sites
- New Mexico’s Public Health Emergency Order
- Essential & Non-Essential Business Operations
- Phone numbers, websites to know during COVID-19
- Donate Blood
- Job changes due to coronavirus – Here’s what you need to know
- Jobs: These businesses are looking to hire due to coronavirus
- How to help during coronavirus
- Resource for New Mexico Seniors
- New Mexico School Meal Sites