I live in a city in the UK that is hosting some competitive sporting events in coming months. From my time at university and beyond, I have made a number of friends and acquaintances across the globe, some of which are interested in the sports involved. They mainly come from North America and Asia. Many have been messaging me asking if it is worthwhile travelling to attend these events. Many of them - from the wording of their messages - assume that because I live in the city, that I automatically have an interest in the sports involved.
The problem is that I have no interest whatsoever in these events and thus have never tried to learn more about them. I would normally recommend a friend or acquaintance who also lives in the city that they could ask for pointers from, but nobody in my extended circle is interested either. To my knowledge, I have never lead anyone to assume that I do like these sports.
Personally, I find the events to be quite inconvenient due to road closures, effects on public transport etc., but I keep these opinions to myself as I don't want to discourage an avid fan from attending (and it's the price you pay for living in the city!). When someone asks for info or if I'm interested, I don't mention these inconveniences, nor say anything hurtful or extreme; just that it's not my cup of tea, but they ought to check out web sites or Facebook groups for people that might be. I'm always still happy to catch up with them in person if they come visit though, and the city has plenty to offer besides hosting these events. I'd hate to lie to them because I know virtually nothing about the sports, I really can't say if the long trips are worth it just for those.
On my opinion alone, some are feeling discouraged or are seriously considering cancelling their trip because it's not worth it if I'm not excited about it. For many I suspect I'm their only regular point of contact here. My questions are; How can I encourage them to not base their judgements purely on my own opinion (without ignoring them or lying)? Similarly, how can I suggest to them to do some digging into groups that would be interested without coming across as dismissive?