The Pittsburgh Penguins NHL ice hockey team has announced the completion of major improvements at PPG Paints Arena.

The upgrades were designed and completed during the off-season with the assistance of arena management partner ASM Global, and are designed to enhance the safety at the venue while also improving the in-game dining experience.

New safety measures at PPG Paints Arena include drone disinfecting technology in the arena bowl, autonomous UV floor scrubbers, touchless faucets and flush valves in all toilets, 200-plus hand sanitiser stations and enhanced cleaning protocols throughout the venue.

The Penguins and ASM Global have developed the protocols based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control, Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization. Many of the protocols are being rolled out at other ASM Global venues around the world as part of its ‘VenueShield’ reopening programme.

Penguins president and chief executive David Morehouse said: “This has been a comprehensive effort by the Penguins and ASM Global staff, working with local health officials and other expert advisors, to ensure the safe return of Penguins hockey to PPG Paints Arena.

“These initiatives and policies will carry over into a post-COVID environment. We also have prepared for the return of fans with enhancements for a safe and efficient game-night experience, including mobile ticketing, mobile ordering and touchless self-checkout scanners for food and beverage.”

The Penguins announced in October that they would be working with food and beverage partner Aramark on a series of renovations to make PPG Paints Arena the “safest and most innovative” sports and entertainment dining experience in the US. The renovations have been carried out in the intervening months and include the installation of new and expanded concepts and new fan-friendly technology.

In September, the Penguins announced a partnership with Rivers Casino and BetRivers.com, through which a new sportsbook-style lounge will open at PPG Paints Arena. The space is expected to be completed in the spring and will be created by removing several rows at the top of section 120 of the arena.

The team has also updated its app to provide a safer, more touchless experience. Features will include mobile ticketing, a customised mobile wallet and a mobile ordering experience with express pick-up for food, beverages and merchandise.

The Penguins are not yet able to welcome fans to PPG Paints Arena due to state and local protocols but on Sunday the team debuted an interactive second-screen experience for its home opener against the Washington Capitals.

‘The Penguins Experience’ was available exclusively on the team app and aired live throughout the game, providing fans with content such as polls, predictive games, virtual cheers and prize opportunities, along with play-by-play radio commentary. The experience will be available for all home games this season.

Image: Pittsburgh Penguins