“Sports and Entertainment Industry Scales Health and Safety Approaches to Protect Talent, Staff and Fans”

Northampton, MA – News Direct – International WELL Building Institute

In September 2021, the IWBI released a detailed report that outlines specific research approaches and operational strategies as the world continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and braces for serious health threats in the future. .

Over the next few months, we’ll republish a chapter of the report each week to help highlight specific themes and ideas. The IWBI Special Report Chapter Series continues with “Sports and Entertainment Industry Scales Health and Safety Approaches to Protect Talent, Staff and Fans,” written by Melanie Koch, MSPH, WELL Faculty, Director, Commercial and Liz Miles, WELL Faculty, Vice President, Stakeholder Relations.

Excerpt republished from: Prevention and Preparedness, Resilience and Recovery: An IWBI Special Report

When it closed live event venues, COVID-19 shut down some of our biggest sources of community celebration. We could no longer greet five strangers nearby after a hometown player blew up a grand slam or join thousands of fans to sing a beloved anthem from our favorite band.

To make matters worse, the pandemic has devastated the people who depend on our public places for a living, from bailiffs to dealership vendors, from security guards to sound engineers. In the United States, the big four professional sports leagues – which draw about 130 million spectators a year – could lose up to $ 14.1 billion in revenue from ticket sales in 2020. COVID-19 could also cost $ 9.7 billion in revenue to the live music industry in 2020. According to Pollstar, if you factor in the economic impact multiplier effect generated per ticket, the total impact is closer to $ 30 billion of dollars. But it is the staff of arenas, stadiums and music halls who are among the most affected.

Sports leagues have tried to adapt to the realities presented by the virus. The NBA, for example, has hosted its 2020 season in a Disney World “bubble” with only athletes, essential staff, and limited player guests. The NHL has taken a similar approach.

However, other organizations encountered greater obstacles to resuming operations. In 2020 and 2021, Major League Baseball faced outbreaks of COVID-19 among several teams. Meanwhile, several college football conferences have postponed or canceled games during the 2020 season and are approaching the 2021 season with caution. And the Tokyo Olympics were held without spectators to encourage the athletes.

Without a doubt, the top priority of every social institution at this time is to protect our communities from the spread of COVID-19. And almost all the groups prepared to make sacrifices to do so …

Extract:For the big sports leagues, the first phase of the resumption of operations has focused on protecting players, coaches, medical trainers and other team members. To do this, they worked closely with public health experts to establish strong safety protocols. Dr Anthony Fauci supported the NBA’s plan, while the MLB consulted with former senior Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official Dr Ali Kahn. Globally, the International Olympic Committee has partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide guidance to sports institutions around the world.

Now, as they begin to admit spectators, leaders in sports and entertainment are once again turning to medical professionals. In order to safely organize live events, arenas, stadiums and theaters, it is imperative to collaborate with healthcare professionals and hospitals and seek their advice …

Extract:Some sports and entertainment venues started off by resuming limited operations, albeit with significant precautions in place. For example, the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars filled their stadium to just 25% of its usual capacity in 2020 in order to comply with physical distancing guidelines. At the start of the 2021 football season, packed stadiums were no longer the norm.

In the realm of live music, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC has shown leadership and creativity, presenting a range of programs for a small in-person audience of 50 people or less (On Stage at the Opera House, Sunset concerts, Frontline Worker Appreciation Nights, and community programs across the region) and invested in original video content that has been viewed over 100 million times. And Jazz Alley, a venue in Seattle, has implemented their own health-focused protocols in anticipation of the reopening, such as installing non-contact faucets in their washrooms, a new ventilation system, and a Plexiglas barrier between them. musicians and fans …

Extract:Artists and athletes understand that they have a responsibility to make an impact beyond the stage or the playground. This is why, before COVID-19, they regularly visited schools, donated time and money. money went to charities and volunteered for projects such as building playgrounds. And that’s why they often champion social change, like when the Hamilton cast proudly proclaimed, “Immigrants, We Get the Job Done.”

In the future, sports and entertainment venues can continue to set an example for their communities at large. Large professional organizations are not the only ones to have suffered from the pandemic. Groups like community theaters and neighborhood recreation centers have also lost significant revenues.18 These small entities may lack the resources and capacity to consult with leading public health experts. Therefore, they will turn to the practices of large institutions to restart their own activities …

ConclusionThe return of live events can offer a powerful source of comfort and community in these uncertain times. In addition, it restores much-needed income to people who work in sports and entertainment facilities.

Venues can reopen their doors safely for fans and spectators by teaming up with health and public health professionals, members of their community, and experts in areas such as resilience and sustainability. Together we can entertain, educate and build a better world for years to come.

In the words of Greg Norman, legendary golfer and current President and CEO of the Greg Norman company: “Never has there been a need as strong as today for cutting-edge wellness solutions rooted in the science and technology. I enjoy working in partnership with thought leaders like IWBI who challenge conventional environments and improve the future.

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