Madrid’s WiZink Center is set to welcome up to 2,000 spectators for this weekend’s Spanish Padel Championship as it becomes one of the first major European venues to reopen to sports fans.

The event will go ahead in a “fully prepared environment”, with the relevant security measures having been put in place. Spectators’ temperatures will be tested on arrival and staff will also undergo blood tests.

Social distancing will be in place at the 17,000-seat venue, which hosted 12 concerts during the summer. At least two seats will be placed between groups.

WiZink Center has improved its ventilation systems to nullify recirculation of the air inside the venue, forcing a complete renovation with external air. The measures will ensure that all the 160,000 cubic metres of air inside the venue are completely renovated every 12 minutes and will deliver an IDA 2 air quality rating that is very close to IDA 1. Regulations currently require an IDA 3 rating.

WiZink Center hosted its first post-lockdown show on July 3 when Spanish rockstar Loquillo staged a gig that was attended by more than 1,700 people. DJ Nano then played at the arena on July 18 before two shows of Operacion Triunfo were held on July 25-26. These three shows attracted between 1,000 and 1,500 spectators.

The venue also hosted a nine-concert festival in September, with up to 2,000 people at each show. A second wave of COVID-19 in Madrid forced the arena to temporarily close its doors but it will return to action tomorrow (Friday) with the Spanish Padel Championship, before a concert by Spanish star Raphael on December 19 and a show by dancer and choreographer Joaquín Cortés on December 23.

In June, TheStadiumBusiness.com spoke to WiZink Center about the venue’s innovative plan to live stream concerts to fans. The venue’s main sponsor, digital bank WiZink, aided the venture, which saw performances recorded with cameras that are usually intended for sporting events to offer different perspectives of the stage.

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