ASM Global is implementing plans to reopen its more than 300 venues across the world after successfully testing its VenueShield programme.

The AEG Live-owned venue management and services company – whose properties include ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Manchester Arena and the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field – engaged with scientists and medical teams to develop a plan to mitigate risk at its properties.

VenueShield’s protective capabilities have already been tested at UFC’s event at ASM Global-managed VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida in May. The programme was also activated for the National Rugby League’s (NRL) match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane in the first live-audience Australian sport played since March.

Building on its early successful implementations, VenueShield is being deployed in various stages worldwide, in alignment with approvals from local government officials and health care experts. Phases of VenueShield include the implementation of new guidelines for environmental hygiene, workplace safety, technology and equipment, food safety and public awareness as they support future efforts. The customised, in-depth workflows for venue re-occupancy include industrial disinfection and workforce safety initiatives, developed in accordance with international guidelines from bodies such as the World Health Organisation.

Bob Newman, President and CEO of ASM Global, thanked partners including infrastructure firm AECOM, scientists at Drexel University College of Medicine and cleaning services specialist SERVPRO.

Newman said: “VenueShield is the culmination of extensive and ongoing work by our Global Task Force to develop this industry-leading set of protocols that will ensure the highest levels of health and safety for our employees, entertainers, athletes and guests.

“We appreciate the expertise provided by the world-class team of experts we have assembled. We look forward to growing the VenueShield program with our partners at AECOM, SERVPRO and Drexel University College of Medicine as we continue to reopen across the globe.”

ASM Global announced in April that a task force would assess the requirements for the safe reopening and operation of venues in the post-COVID-19 world. They considered the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), food safety measures, air quality control, surface cleaning, physical/ social distancing, temperature checks, thermal cameras, hand sanitisers, reduced touch points, contactless transactions and daily monitoring systems.

ASM Global operates several major venues in North America, including NFL stadia and indoor arenas used by teams from major leagues. Its portfolio also includes venues across the UK and mainland Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australasia.

Mack Astorga, AECOM’s environmental risk and return with confidence programme lead, said: “At AECOM, we have a deep understanding of sports and entertainment venues. We are excited to work with ASM Global on the many aspects of their VenueShield program, including the development and implementation of the phase one environmental hygiene project.

“Sports and entertainment venues have long been symbols of hope and pride to the communities in which they reside. Now more than ever, preparing these venues for the safe return of fans, teams and entertainers is critical.”

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