Tips for Re-Opening your Sports or Entertainment Venue

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Sports and entertainment facilities throughout the country are slowly marching towards a return to operations and providing the respite from a difficult year that we so desperately need. Unfortunately, venues in some parts of the United States are still in a holding pattern per their home state’s regulations. For those facilities, considerations must be made for the time when they can re-open to the public. They will return to play and when they do, they must ensure the safety of staff and guests.

Below we have provided tips for re-opening sports, event, or entertainment venues. The information is based both on best practices from sports facilities around the U.S. and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Overall Tips for Re-opening Sports, Event, or Entertainment Venues

Protecting staff and guests starts with having a plan for daily operations. This summer, we gathered subject matter experts both in our facilities as well as legal and human resources experts to develop the Guide to COVID-19 Response and Re-Opening. This guide provides a comprehensive process for re-opening your facility. Some of the tips provided there and in other resources include:

  • Screening employees and having them complete a health declaration before their shift
  • Establishing a rigorous cleaning/sanitation schedule for frequently touched surfaces
  • Wearing masks based on your state’s current guidelines
  • Providing signage highlighting social distancing and mask requirements
  • Developing a program to address stagnant water from the closure time period
  • Determining the number of attendees allowed at events based on your state’s current guidelines

Tips for Managing Employees

It’s critical to develop policies that not only protect your employees but allows them to protect guests. Consider the following tips as part of your re-opening plan:

  • Establish a hand washing/sanitizing policy in which all employees wash or use hand sanitizer every 60 minutes or after using the restroom, assisting an injured or fallen player, sneezing, coughing, blowing their nose, performing cleaning, smoking, eating, drinking, entering and leaving the playing surface(s), and before or after starting a shift
  • Establish a policy for using personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves
  • Establish a disclosure policy for employees requesting that they inform management of any potential COVID-19 exposure and symptoms to management. Additionally, request that employees who begin to feel sick while at work leave immediately and contact management
  • Conduct pre-shift meetings to identify any updates to guidelines and challenges from previous shifts
  • Shared tools and equipment should be sanitized before and after each use

Tips for Sports Events

Whether it’s the NBA bubble or Little League baseball, we are starting to see sporting events re-emerge on the national landscape. For these events to be executed safely and successfully, specific procedures must be installed and enforced. These may include:

  • Limiting the number of participants and attendees based on current rules for gatherings in your state or local area
  • Enforcing a six-foot buffer for all guests while on site in order to maintain social distancing. Procedures for enforcing social distancing policies include:
    • Marking parking lot for lines that may form at entrances
    • Marking floor at the cashier area and other areas where lines will form
  • Provide separate entrances and exits from playing surface (if possible)

Additionally, monitors for public events should be equipped with mask, face shield, and non-latex gloves, in addition to their normal supplies and uniform.

Tips for Skills Training

As with sporting events, skills training and camps are making a comeback. Rules and procedures that ensure safety must be applied here as well. Best practices include:

  • Dividing the playing surface to allow one entrance per training section
  • Providing a generous instructor to student ratio with six-foot distance maintained at all times during instruction

Tips for Concessions

Providing food and beverage services is a critical revenue driver for many sports, event, and entertainment facilities. Since snack bars and restaurants are areas where people can potentially congregate, safety procedures are essential and should include:

  • Spacing tables six feet apart to maintain social distancing
  • Food should be covered until delivered to customer
  • Providing individualized condiments
  • Providing disposable silverware and napkins
  • Placing sanitation stations between front of house (cashier, dining area, etc.) and back of house (food preparation, storage, etc.) and requiring use when passing between the two areas

For a step by step guide to re-opening your sports, recreation, or event facility, check out our Guide to COVID-19 Response and Re-Opening. If you need expert guidance for re-opening and optimizing your facility, contact us today at 727-474-3845 to learn more about our disaster rebound services.