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OVG helps develop safe-venue certification ahead of reopening

Oak View Group (OVG) has partnered with Sharecare, an Atlanta-based health company, and CAA’s Icon division to launch a new hygiene certification for venues that aims to boost fan confidence and mitigate risks associated with Covid-19.

Sharecare’s Verified ‘health security’ certification programme, which provides a Covid-secure seal of approval for hotels and other tourism businesses, will now be extended to events venues through the partnership with OVG, which operates or is building arenas in North America, the UK and continental Europe, and CAA Icon, the agency’s venue consulting arm.

To achieve verification from Sharecare, venue operators must meet certain standards across 600 venue ‘checkpoints’, explains the company, including building preparation, the fan journey, sanitisation and cleaning, and air circulation. The process is navigated via a chatbot-enabled screener, which also offers other relevant guidance, including the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and requirements for sports leagues.

After completion of the process, stadia, arenas and other public venues earn Sharecare’s Verified badge. Atlanta’s 21,000-capacity State Farm Arena became the first venue to achieve this designation, in January 2021.

“We’re pleased to align ourselves with Sharecare as we prioritise safety”

“As we begin to see the industry reopen, bringing innovation to the sports and entertainment industry that sets a new standard for the health and safety of fans, artists and staff must be a top priority,” says Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke. “We’re pleased to align ourselves with Sharecare as we prioritise safety so all who enter live entertainment venues can feel comfortable and confident in attending sporting events and concerts once again.”

“We were drawn to Sharecare because of their ability to customise their verification platform for this unique building type and their willingness to commit the time to do so,” adds Tim Romani, chairman of CAA Icon. “This allowed us to interactively collaborate on the technology so that it is flexible for changing protocols, league requirements, and clinical recommendations.”

In addition to State Farm Arena, the new venue-focused Sharecare Verified platform was trialled with two under-construction arenas, OVG’s Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle and UBS Arena in New York, both of which have also adopted the Verified Solution.

“Whether resuming activities or building next-generation event experiences, we’re proud to deliver stadiums and arenas a flexible solution precisely designed to align with their operational needs, yet easily configured to best practices, as well as league and public health protocols as they evolve,” comments Hermann Elger, executive vice-president of travel, entertainment and health security for Sharecare. “We’re grateful for the support of CAA Icon and OVG in bringing this high-tech, high-touch solution to venues worldwide to enable visitors a safe and sustainable return to live event experiences.”


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