Germany venue aces’ lockdown exit plan


German venues strategic paper with re-opening plan Image: SAP Arena

Twenty scientists and experts across various disciplines in Germany as well as 40 cultural and sports institutions are presenting a new strategy paper – a cross-sector, data-based approach to the discussion as regards a streamlined exit route out of the lockdown.

Most countries in Europe introduced lockdown measures to fight new peaks in infections and deaths due to the new variant of COVID-19 which is said to be even more infectious, at the beginning of 2021. Some are starting to ease them now, while others are extending the lockdowns or introducing new regional restrictions as the new virus strain continues to pound Europe and the United States. Germany has extended lockdown until at least March 7th. The European country has been under lockdown since November 2020. sources stated that after the restart concept of the Event Management Forum and a similar paper by the European Society for Hygiene Protection and Event Security, the Research Institute For Exhibition And Live Communication and Messe Frankfurt, the new concept is already the third proposal within two weeks on strategies to be adopted to gradually come out of the lockdown and restart the events industry which is reeling under the virulent effects of coronavirus.

Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organizer with its own exhibition grounds. The organization has 2,500 employees at some 30 locations, generating annual sales of around €661 million.

The new paper now proposes a basic concept that should initially enable the use of 25 to 40 percent of the total capacity of venues at the event locations, and further measures such as specialist hygiene concepts and test strategies could also allow more viewers into the arenas’ fold. The approach adopted comes with one set of rules for indoor events and a different model for outdoor events. sources added that the restart strategy includes, among other things, the creation of a hygiene and infection protection concept, compliance with the physical distancing rules, personal tickets for contact management, a mask mandatory strategy, a ban on serving alcoholic beverages at events with more than 1,000 visitors in attendance, and a dedicated egress route concept for the audience.

The basic concept also provides for certain seating arrangements for both indoor and outdoor events, which are intended to ensure that the minimum distance is being stuck to.

“The basic concept can be implemented with reasonable effort and with limited financial resources by every venue in the development of a hygiene concept. This could, in particular, also enable smaller facilities in culture and sport a pragmatic way back to a regulated performance and game operation,” the authors of the above paper shared.

At indoor venues with large rooms and modern ventilation technology, as well as at outdoor events – beyond the basic concept – a higher number of spectators can also be let in. To further increase the occupancy rate, the authors recommend a specialist hygiene concept as a template.

In addition, the concept also contains a “maximum model” that has a test strategy as a condition. On the basis of new diagnostic options, the expansion of access to events is to be implemented – up to a possible full utilization of facilities while staging operas, concerts and sporting events. To this end, the culture and sports industry could provide guests with an antigen test at the venue and promote digital portals to support contact management.

The facilities that support the concept include the 4,350-capacity Verti Music Hall (live music venue in Berlin, Germany), the Quarterback Real Estate Arena, the 17,000-capacity Mercedes-Benz Arena (multipurpose indoor arena in Germany), the 16,000-capacity Barclaycard Arena (arena in Hamburg, Germany), the 11,900-capacity Max-Schmeling-Halle (arena in Berlin, Germany), the 69,250-capacity Olympic Park Munich (multipurpose venue in Munich, Germany), the 18,000-capacity Lanxess Arena (arena in Cologne, Germany) and the 17,562-capacity SAP Arena (multipurpose arena in Mannheim, Germany).

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