Company also requiring vaccinations for on-site employees, subcontractors and vendors
Oak View Group is taking additional steps to ensure its buildings will be engineered to include the latest state-of-the-art COVID preventive safeguards, technologies and protocols, the company announced Sunday.
OVG is now requiring vaccinations of all employees, subcontractors and vendors who will work in any of its facilities, the company said. Those venues include Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle and UBS Arena in Belmont, New York, both scheduled to open in the fall, and Moody Center in Austin, Texas, set to open in April.
“When COVID-19 shuttered the live entertainment industry last year, OVG didn’t sit still. Instead, we started taking steps to understand the impact of the virus on our industry,” said Tim Leiweke, Oak View Group CEO. “As we all continue to navigate the variants and changes in health safety procedures, so too will OVG in taking the necessary steps to ensure we are building and operating the safest venues in the world.”
OVG is also the owner of VenuesNow.
As COVID-19 cases rise across the U.S. and in light of the delta variant, OVG is is reviewing venue ventilation performance to identify total air changes, outdoor air changes, and outdoor air per occupant, as well as reducing the simultaneous occupancy of back-of-house spaces to increase the effective ventilation rate per occupant. Additionally, through its arena cleaning partners, OVG is employing the latest sanitization solutions, including the use of long-term protectants and sanitizers to minimize pathogens on all surfaces.
OVG and its vendor partners also encourage the use of mobile or cashless transactions for ticketing, food and beverage, merchandise, and restrooms. OVG will continue to identify effective solutions for consideration while monitoring the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities.
OVG, along with CAA Icon, lent its support to Sharecare and its Health Security Verified solution for sports and live entertainment venues, also announcing that all OVG venues will go through the multistep process that begins by self-attesting to more than 140 expert-validated standards. A Forbes Travel Guide-certified hospitality inspector then reviews compliance across various health security checkpoints within the facility.
In June 2020, OVG created a Taskforce for the Safe Reopening of Venues consisting of industry experts who researched and tested more than 200 products, services and technologies slated to combat the virus and help venues safely reopen for events. This group has worked with the network of OVG venues to collaborate, discuss information, and provide testing and feedback.
Throughout the pandemic, OVG has taken steps to keep its workplaces safe from COVID-19 and, with help from health consultant Dr. K. Elizabeth Hawk, president of Ampersand Intelligence, develop policies and protocols that change with the latest scientific and medical information. Requiring all OVG employees to be vaccinated is part of the prevention protocols, and while OVG also encourages all fans to get vaccinated before attending events, it will follow the lead of local authorities in each jurisdiction.