COVID-19 venue news: Etihad Stadium, Estadio Pedro Bidegain and more

Etihad Stadium

Premier League football club Manchester City has detailed the extent of its COVID-19 relief effort, with the Etihad Stadium having been used to train over 350 nursing staff.

City has been working with the NHS and Manchester City Council from the early days of the crisis and since then the three parties have established a formal partnership that has helped deliver a number of activities to the Etihad Campus.

As well as opening up the Etihad Stadium to train nursing staff, the stadium will be used for a variety of purposes over the coming weeks and months. A rest, relaxation and exercise centre has opened for NHS and social care staff and will provide people with access to a quiet space from 7.30am to 10pm every day.

A ‘click and collect’ shopping service has also been established to ensure that people who need groceries and household supplies have access to them. A drive-through COVID-19 testing facility has also been set up at the north end of the Etihad Campus and will initially open for three months, with an offer from City to extend this. Over 1,000 tests per day are currently being carried out on the site.

Omar Berrada, City’s chief operating officer, said: “As a club, we are acutely conscious of the role we can, and should, play in supporting our city, both day to day, and in times of crisis.

“It was abundantly clear from the outset of this pandemic that we would be able to help, but we wanted to understand how we could do so most effectively in order to best support our public services, our fans and the wider Manchester community.

“Having consulted, and worked closely, with our friends and partners from across the city for many weeks now, we feel proud to be playing even a small role within a wider community effort that has once again shown Manchester’s strength of spirit, its resilience and togetherness.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting Manchester over the coming weeks through this crisis and beyond, into its recovery, in full confidence that our city will come back stronger than before.”

City has also provided support for community groups that tackle a range of social issues, food bank donations and flowers to care homes. Season-card holders who are in isolation have also been called, while gift packages have been sent to fans over 70.

Estadio Pedro Bidegain

Estadio Pedro Bidegain, home of Argentine Primera División team San Lorenzo, has joined the fight against COVID-19 and will install mobile sanitary units to test and examine potential patients.

The initiative will allow the national government and Buenos Aires authorities to carry out tests, with a focus to be placed on people in vulnerable situations.

The first tests were carried out yesterday (Monday) and if patients show serious symptoms of COVID-19 they will be transferred to a hospital.

San Lorenzo is also continuing to refurbish the stadium to allow the city government to operate a containment centre for vulnerable older adults. The centre will feature 220 beds divided into 18 sections.

San Siro/AC Milan

Italian Serie A football club AC Milan has lifted the lid on its partnership with Skrill, its new official global payments partner.

The deal was signed a number of weeks ago and the Skrill brand has appeared in the San Siro on several occasions, but the partnership activation plans were put on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

After the club returned to training last week, Milan said it is the right time to talk more about the partnership with Skrill, which offers a multi-currency digital wallet with a prepaid card.

Skrill becomes the preferred payments partner for AC Milan merchandise sales and is a live payments option on the club’s international online store. Skrill will also benefit from brand exposure during AC Milan home matches and will be promoted across the club’s online channels, including its website and official app.

Additionally, Skrill has been integrated into Vivaticket, giving fans the option of using the company’s digital wallet when buying match tickets and other club experiences.

Lincoln Financial Field

The Philadelphia Eagles NFL team is waiving wedding ceremony fees at Lincoln Financial Field for front line workers.

Phillymag reports that the site fees, which normally amount to $30,000 (£24,000/€28,000), will be scrapped until March 31, 2021, with reception rates for the stadium having also been reduced. Reception fees will start at $50 a head.

Lynette Camacho, special events sales director for the Eagles, said: “We thought: ‘How sad it was that one of the most important days of their lives were impacted, and how can we help?’

“Since we can book in the short term, then we could help them out this year.”

Image: Cléria De Souza