More than three-quarters of baseball fans support Major League Baseball’s plan to hold a shortened, 60-game season, according to an ESPN poll released Saturday.
In the poll, 77% of respondents who said they were baseball fans expressed support for the 60-game season, with 23% opposing it. Of all sports fans surveyed, 73% supported and 27% opposed MLB’s plan.
MLB is set to hold Opening Day on July 23 or 24, and players are set to begin training camps next week.
The decision to play a shortened season came amid the coronavirus pandemic and after contentious negotiations between the league and players’ union that appeared on the brink of falling apart multiple times.
Poll respondents noted that lost time, with 58% of them agreeing that MLB’s slow return was a “missed opportunity.”
Even so, most people said the public standoff won’t affect their baseball viewing habits, as 64% of sports fans said it won’t change how much of the sport they watch. The majority (53%) had limited awareness of the negotiations anyway, saying they heard nothing much or nothing at all about them.
The poll was conducted Tuesday to Friday by the Global Strategy Group and included 1,003 sports fans. The majority of respondents took part after MLB announced on Tuesday its agreement to start the season late next month.