Oak View Group, the global venue development, advisory and investment company for sports and live entertainment industries, has launched a new taskforce to help US facilities reopen safely when restrictions ease following COVID-19.

The taskforce will look to develop facility sanitisation standards and lists partners such as hospitality and food services company Delaware North, food safety specialist Ecolab, architecture firms Populous and Gensler, law firm Kauff McGuire & Margolis, engineering design company ME Engineers, the University of Washington, commercial cleaning company Jani-King, and consulting and advisory firm Teneo.

The taskforce will test more than 180 products, solutions and technologies to ensure fans can enter facilities in a safe, clean manner. Employee protection protocols will also be developed. Solutions will initially be tested before the taskforce rolls out a wide-ranging programme that can be put in place across venues.

“Our team will be influential in implementing the new standards that will be adopted across the entire live entertainment industry,” OVG chief executive Tim Leiweke said in a statement reported by Billboard.

“The health and safety of fans, artists, and touring staff, during and after this evolving global pandemic remains our top priority. By aligning ourselves with global companies, all which I consider the best in their respective fields, we are developing and executing the necessary standards to protect anyone who may enter a live entertainment venue.”

OVG’s chief operating officer Stephen Collins added: “The process our taskforce uses will be key in achieving the highest standards of safety and health and create a plan with a framework for action that will be rolled out to arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters while meeting the current criteria of the CDC, local governmental, and health and medical professionals.”

OVG’s current projects include a revamp of Seattle’s KeyArena (pictured), which will house a new NHL ice hockey team. NHL Seattle is due to commence playing at the arena in 2021 and the facility will also serve as the home of women’s WNBA basketball team Seattle Storm.

Image: NHL Seattle