All Venues to Include State-of-the-Art COVID-19 Preventative Safeguards, Technologies, and Protocols
LOS ANGELES – August 8, 2021 – Oak View Group (OVG), the global venue development, advisory, and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, today announced the company is taking additional steps to ensure its buildings including Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, WA, and UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY, both of which are scheduled to open fall of 2021, will be engineered to include the latest state-of-the-art COVID preventive safeguards, technologies, and protocols. As a commitment to ensuring its buildings are the safest venues in the world for artists, teams, employees, and fans, OVG is now requiring vaccinations of all employees, sub-contractors, and vendors that will work in any OVG Facility, including Climate Pledge Arena, UBS Arena and Moody Center.
“When COVID-19 shuttered the live entertainment industry last year, OVG didn’t sit still. Instead, we started taking steps to understand the impact of the virus on our industry,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO, Oak View Group. “As we all continue to navigate the variants and changes in health safety procedures, so too will OVG in taking the necessary steps to ensure we are building and operating the safest venues in the world. Artists, fans – everyone, can take comfort in knowing that when they step foot into an OVG venue, they will have a safe and comfortable entertainment experience.”
As an uptick in cases of COVID-19 continues across the US, and in light of the new variant, OVG is also leaning even more so into their risk mitigation efforts. Tapping into the expertise of engineering consultant Ed Bosco, PE New York-based Managing Principal at ME Engineers, OVG is reviewing venue ventilation performance to identify total air changes, outdoor air changes, outdoor air per occupant, as well as reducing the simultaneous occupancy of back of house spaces to increase the effective ventilation rate per occupant. Additionally, through its arena cleaning partners, OVG is employing the latest sanitization solutions including the use of long-term protectants and sanitizers to minimize pathogens on all surfaces. OVG and its vendor partners also encourage the use of mobile or cashless transactions for ticketing, food & beverage, merchandise, and restrooms. OVG will continue to identify effective solutions for consideration while monitoring the guidance from the CDC, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and other health authorities.
OVG lent their support, along with CAA ICON, to Sharecare and their Health Security VERIFIED solution for sports and live entertainment venues, also announcing that all OVG venues will go through the multi-step process that begins by self-attesting to more than 140 expert-validated standards, which updates seamlessly as professional league requirements, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, and other relevant guidance evolves. A Forbes Travel Guide-certified hospitality inspector then reviews compliance across various health security checkpoints within the facility.
In June 2020, OVG created a Taskforce for the Safe Reopening of Venues consisting of industry experts who researched and tested over 200 products, services, and technologies slated to combat the virus and help venues safely reopen for events. This group has worked with the network of OVG venues to cross-collaborate, discuss information, and provide actionable testing and feedback. In doing so, the company continues to take steps to ensure they are opening the world’s safest venues for artists, teams, and fans alike as they return to events in this new era of live entertainment.
Throughout the pandemic, OVG has taken all the necessary steps to keep their workplaces safe from COVID-19, and with help from health consultant Dr. K. Elizabeth Hawk, MS MD Ph.D., President of Ampersand Intelligence, develop policies and protocols that change with the latest scientific and medical information. Requiring all OVG employees to be vaccinated is an important part of their prevention protocols, and while OVG also encourages all fans to get vaccinated before attending events, it will follow the lead of local authorities in each jurisdiction. As they approach opening Climate Pledge Arena and UBS Arena there are no options off the table when it comes to the safety of everyone entering the arenas.
About Oak View Group (OVG)
Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG is focused on being a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports and live entertainment industry and currently has eight divisions across four global offices (Los Angeles, New York, London, and Philadelphia). OVG is leading the redevelopment and operations of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center as well as leading arena development projects for UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY; Moody Center in Austin, TX; Coachella Valley Arena in Palm Desert, CA; and Co-op Live in Manchester, UK. OVG Global Partnerships, a division of OVG, is the sales and marketing arm responsible for selling across all OVG Arena Development projects.
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