Oak View Group Launches Safety Task Force to Guide Reopening Venues

Oak View Group
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Global venue company Oak View Group has announced a task force to help establish safety protocols to reopen live entertainment facilities after worldwide closures due to COIVD-19. The task force will be made up of industry professionals from facility operations, including sanitization technology and equipment, research and development, design, food and beverage, capital expenditure management, content and more.

OVG’s task force will provide development and operation protocols, guidance, and ongoing auditing of all COVID-19 and other infectious disease mitigation.

“Our team will be influential in implementing the new standards that will be adopted across the entire live entertainment industry,” said OVG CEO Tim Leiweke in a release. “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 live entertainment venues.”

The task force includes Delaware North, the global leader in hospitality management and food service management, which will oversee food and beverage. Global leader in water, food safety and infection prevention technologies and services Ecolab, will manage sanitization technology. Design and architecture firms Gensler and Populous will oversee facilities design. Law firm Kauff McGuire & Margolis, which specializes in the practice of labor and employment law, will ensure employees’ rights are protected and upheld. Engineering design firm ME Engineers will direct all mechanical and electrical engineering. Consulting and advisory firm Teneo will oversee management consulting and the University of Washington will lead research and development. Commercial cleaning franchise Jani-King will also join the task force.

The group intends to review and test more than 180 products, solutions, and technologies to see which can be used in the most effective manner to protect all who enter into the facilities. It will develop industry standards to properly sanitize facilities as well as provide guidance on recommended safety protocols for all venues. In addition to the safety of fans, the OVG task force will establish protocols to protect employees. After testing out solutions, the task force will develop a program that can be implemented across venues.

“The process our task force 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, amphitheaters while meeting the current criteria of the CDC, local governmental, and health and medical professionals," said OVG COO Stephen Collins in a release.

OVG is leading the redevelopment and operations of the new arena at Seattle Center, as well as leading arena development projects in New York, Austin and Milan.

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