Dolphins’ bid to make stadium squeaky-clean



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Hard Rock Stadium May 2020 update Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, US, and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, have announced that the venue has committed to become the first public facility to receive GBAC STAR accreditation. This whole drive will serve as the gold standard for facilities to implement cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention work practices to control risks associated with infectious agents. It would also keep the stadium spick and span.

With this, Hard Rock Stadium is set to become the first public facility to earn the Global Biorisk Advisory Council accreditation for enhanced cleaning and infectious disease prevention.

Hard Rock Stadium is a football stadium located in Miami Gardens, Florida, a city north of Miami in US. It is the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. Hard Rock Stadium also plays host to the Miami Hurricanes football team during their regular season.

The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. The Dolphins compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the league’s American Football Conference East division.

The Dolphins have, meanwhile, come out with a strategy that would enable fans to grace matches at Hard Rock Stadium while observing social distancing guidelines in toto once the 2020 season gets underway.

To be able to earn the accreditation, Hard Rock Stadium will complete 20 program elements with specific performance and guidance criteria to allow it to establish and maintain a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program, provide assurance and establish itself as a facility where the requisite cleaning measures have been adopted, and set up a framework for communication and raising awareness of best practices.

The program will also enable Hard Rock Stadium to control and/or minimize risks associated with infectious agents such as SARS-CoV-2 (responsible for COVID-19 disease) for employees, customers, the community, and the environment.

Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Tom Garfinkel unveiled mock-ups of new entrances at the venue, which will facilitate fans to be separated out when they enter the arena before leaving row-by-row “much like a church environment”.

Masks have been made mandatory for fans and food will have to be ordered from their respective seats rather than wait in a serpentine queue. The Hard Rock Stadium can accommodate 65,000 fans but the Dolphins are mulling to allow only 15,000 fans in the next season so that they can strictly stick to social distancing measures.

“When our fans, players and staff are able to return to Hard Rock Stadium, we want them to have peace of mind that we’re doing everything we can to create the safest and healthiest environment possible,” Garfinkel maintained.

“We didn’t want to create our own standard, we wanted to be accountable to the most credible third-party standard that exists. Working with GBAC ensures compliance with critical guidelines for the highest standard of cleanliness and it is our hope that other venues will follow suit as we navigate through these unprecedented times,” Garfinkel added.

“We commend Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Dolphins organization for their leadership in pursuing GBAC STAR accreditation,” said GBAC Executive Director Patty Olinger.

“Through the accreditation process, Hard Rock Stadium will illustrate that it has a comprehensive program in place to ensure a clean, safe, and healthy environment for its numerous constituents. We look forward to supporting the organization and many others as facilities open following the COVID-19 pandemic,” Olinger added.

The GBAC STAR accreditation is part of an ongoing commitment by Garfinkel to make Hard Rock Stadium the trendsetter in sustainability efforts with a focus on health and safety. Recently, he led the charge to phase out 99.4 percent (2.8 million) of fans facing single-use plastics in the food and beverage operation at Hard Rock Stadium starting with Super Bowl LIV.

Scheduled kick-off for the Miami Dolphins is still four months away, but already the team is tossing around concepts and trying to figure out as to how it may be able to welcome fans back to the stadium fold in a safe way.

Garfinkel and his team are working their fingers to the bone to ensure that come September and fans could be back in the venue with no worry lines on their faces.

“We’re going to plan for all the different scenarios with the most important priority, obviously, being keeping people safe and healthy,” Garfinkel maintained.

One scenario calls for using every other turnstile to get in, keeping people six feet apart.

“We remain optimistic, we’re planning for the best in terms of hoping we can play games at the stadium with fans in them and everything else,” Garfinkel added.

The Dolphins said all these plans are just concepts right now. They will follow the lead of the NFL and the State to determine how and when they can welcome fans back to the venue.

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