While the Banks's Stadium remains closed under Tier 3 restrictions, sports around the country have today come together to launch a campaign to promote the safe return of fans to live events.
The ‘For the Love of Sport’ campaign – developed by the Sports Technology and Innovation Group – promotes safety advice to fans and sets out how grounds are publicising they are safe.
The campaign includes a ‘We’re Fan Ready’ mark for grounds and venues to use, reassuring fans that sports are united in their commitment to providing a safe environment.
The voluntary mark will be used to show they have adhered to the protocols and guidance set out by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and Government.
The campaign has been launched to coincide with the return of a fans to live events, in line with Government guidance. It will be visible from Wednesday 2nd December when horseracing welcomes crowds back at selected courses and the EFL will be among the first professional football clubs to have supporters back in their stands.
Over the weekend, the messages will be seen by fans attending a number of events, including Premier League and Premiership Rugby matches and England’s final rugby game of the Autumn Nations Cup.
While the overall message will focus on ‘For the Love of Sport’, each sport will integrate their own messaging specific to their club, venue or competition.
This will focus on what all fans need to do in the venue to ensure it is as safe as possible for everyone.
David Ross, Chair of the Sports Technology and Innovation Group, said: "For both fans and sportsmen and women, the love of sports goes hand in glove with the atmosphere in stadiums.
"Everyone in sports is working extremely hard to get people back to cheering their teams on as soon and as safely as possible.
“Now more than ever, it’s really important that we all play our parts and follow the guidance. This will help us keep everyone safe, and over time allow more and more fans back into the grounds.”
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "Today is an important milestone in getting fans back where they belong – watching live sport in venues and stadiums.
"Sports and clubs have been working hard with their clubs to be ‘fan ready’, in line with the Government’s guidelines. This campaign will help fans know exactly how to play their part in supporting safely and minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus.
"We're making great progress with vaccines and mass testing and we're working closely with the Sports Technology and Innovation Group. By working together, we'll be able to get crowds back to larger capacities as soon as it is safe to do so."