Large spectator facilities such as stadiums and arenas have been greatly impacted by the pandemic. In recent times, we have witnessed empty seats and a huge knock to the overall experience of such places. Hopeful that such facilities will be able to open to full capacity soon, consideration to how they can do this in a safe manner, in a post-Covid world is essential. To name a few factors, these include things such as health and safety of employees and visitors, hygiene, general maintenance and building integrity. Facilities management can help with this, and effectively put in place systems for maximising capacity post-pandemic, all whilst preserving the experience and keeping everyone involved safe.
Here are our top five considerations for stadiums and arenas returning to full capacity:
- Take into Account the Whole Area
It is likely that seating is the first thing that springs to mind when considering the new increase in capacity. However, other parts of large spectator venues must be assessed too. Both seated and standing areas will need to be adapted so that they operate in a way which ensures safe distances are maintained during an event.
For instance, any constraints in entering and moving around the venue are crucial to understanding this new rise in capacity. Ensuring attendees are a sufficient distance apart is one thing, but the time it takes to check tickets as well as search and/or screen visitors also needs to be considered. Therefore, due to the current situation, new steps are potentially added. For example, these include:
- Floor markings
Floor-fitted markings across other industries for example retail have shown to be a very successful way of emphasising social distancing. MSL offers a range of self-adhesive floor symbols available in different colours. We can also brand them with your company logo, to help maintain the all-important business image.
- Sneeze guards
They can be used at the ticket desk and other interaction points, to safeguard both employees and visitors from viral contamination. Fitting sneeze guards is an effective way of curbing the virus where the 2m rule is not always possible. Our team at MSL can not only supply, but also fit sneeze guards specially designed for your needs. So, whether these are sneeze guards that are free-standing or fixed to a counter – we can help.
- Hand sanitising stations
Sanitising stations have been in place since last year across other industries and are now an essential within all facilities. Having these in place across large capacity venues will ensure everyone from visitors to employees limit the spread of the virus. MSL supply several sanitiser solutions, so whether you prefer foot operated, stainless steel hand sanitisers or automatic – we can provide these. These systems are ideal for access and exit points to stadiums and arenas, or high-contact areas such as where visitors are seated/standing. Like the floor markings we provide, these sanitising stations can also be branded with your company logo, re-enforcing the positive message behind cleaning hands frequently.
- Check Your Water Systems
With social distancing measures in place, large capacity facilities must consider the quantity of toilets across their venue, especially in queuing and concourse areas. Additional temporary provision may be needed for toilets in addition to hand-washing facilities. Therefore, stadiums and arenas must ensure their water system is up to date with its Legionella Risk Assessment before preparing to re-open to a larger capacity. Thought must be given to sterilising, and/or the controlled flushing of water systems, to alleviate the risk from extended stagnation. Sampling may be beneficial in order to prove the effectiveness of control measures. Our experts at MSL are on to hand to assist with such practices to ensure your water systems operate efficiently and safely for all its users. We are also able to offer both risk assessment reviews, and where necessary, a written scheme policy guidance. This is especially beneficial for large capacity venues as it provides the required control strategies – so we do the hard work for you.
Additionally, our expert team can also deliver remobilisation of water services in cases such as the ones below:
- If your water systems were left full during the time they were shut.
- If a weekly flush was carried out prior to shutting down.
- If it has not been possible to carry out a programme of weekly flushing or you isolated your water supply and exhausted your water appliances.
- Face Coverings Affect Communication
If staff or visitors to stadiums and arenas are required to wear a mask, it is important to factor in that some visual cues will be concealed due to half the face being covered. Therefore, the ability to communicate within a loud and noisy area will be significantly reduced. This may mean people will potentially move closer to each other to hear what is being said to them. Evidently, this is not ideal during the times we are living in now. If staff need to communicate to crowds or their colleagues, other measures may need to be put in place. For example, these include systems such as:
- Amplification of voices through a PA system to communicate to crowds.
- Utilising two-way radios for communication between staff.
- Supplementing verbal communication with signage and additional visual messaging.
- Cleanliness Requires Special Attention
As we move forward, ensuring seating areas, suites, food courts, bathrooms and concourses are cleaned thoroughly and regularly to maintain high hygiene standards will be essential. Choose a firm which considers janitorial service a science and an art, as these are more likely to understand the complexities of large capacity venues. At MSL, we pride ourselves on the highly efficient cleaning services we provide for clients. Our experts can offer additional sanitisation measures through our specialist cleaning contractors. The benefits for your business are infinite, as MSL can tailor cleaning plans to any working environment, no matter their scale.
- Seamless Operations
Making use of a facilities management provider will mean you can opt for an integrated service which handles everything such as game-day preparations, quick turnarounds and periodic maintenance, all in one. At MSL, we have the resources to manage back-to-back events as well as last-minute changes, for instance to your line-up or the weather. The right partner will assist in your operations running flawlessly. This is so visitors experience a consistent and quality service every time, regardless of whether you operate one or multiple venues across the country. Such integration means you can consolidate all your activities under one umbrella – saving time, energy, and money. By having a single point of contact, your operations become more streamlined. This will improve the visibility of your whole operation, allowing you to make better informed decisions. Online integrated systems such as our inSYNC FM, allows clients to log jobs with ease and send photographs of problems for quick analysis. This way we can send over the appropriate tradesman to your venue, all whilst monitoring the job as it is in progress.
It is important to remember that you are not just limited to what other large capacity venues have done. Workplaces, retailers and public transport have all been operating for a while now with Covid-friendly measures – even throughout lockdown. So, we have seen that solutions in place within other sectors can also be successfully utilised in others. Creating a good experience for visitors and employees is easier if you partner with one provider that can handle a range of facility services from cleaning to handyman jobs.
At MSL, our facilities management specialists not only understand how large capacity venues are planned, but they also have experience in implementing measures fit for a post-pandemic world. This means we can help give you the confidence that your plans comply with government guidelines as well as ensuring safety of all staff and visitors.