UBS Arena to come armed with clean-air tech


UBS Arena October 2020 air cleaning tech Image: UBS Arena

With COVID-19 almost sounding the death knell on the world, ‘Safety First’ has become the catchline, and the safety quotient also has become paramount for the sports venue sector.

In keeping with the safety spirit, UBS Arena in New York (US), the under-construction new home of the New York Islanders National Hockey League (NHL) ice hockey team, is all set to be fitted with air-cleaning technology to reduce the risks posed by airborne viruses.

Tom Pistore, President, UBS Arena, US, will be one of the Speakers at the Coliseum Online Week US Worldwide to be held from October 19th – 23rd, 2020. He will speak between 9-10 am PT. For a complimentary ticket registration, please click here.

The New York Islanders are an American professional ice hockey team based in Brooklyn, New York, that plays in the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).

The 19,000-seat venue is due to open in time for the 2021-22 NHL season. The project is being delivered by Oak View Group (OVG), whose Chief Executive Tim Leiweke unveiled details of the new technology recently.

Leiweke told mediapersons that OVG will team up with ME Engineers and architecture firm Populous on the air-filtration systems, which would use UV lighting to eliminate viruses and ensure clean circulation of air inside the venue.

Added Leiweke, “The long-term solution is going to be medicine, treatment, and vaccine. But, it’s also going to be cleaner, smarter air. So, in an indoor space, what we’re thinking is – how do we create cleaner, fresher air?”

Stephen Collins, COO, Oak View Group, US, will also be one of the Speakers at the Coliseum Online Week US Worldwide to be held from October 19th – 23rd, 2020.

Fans’ safety and the hygiene factor are being accorded topmost priority by sports teams and venues with COVID-19 still striking the world with full gusto and the United States being the worst-hit nation.

Leiweke added, “The issue is: How do you get it into an 850,000-square foot arena and make it work? And that’s what we’re working on. These are the sort of things our task force – ME Engineers and Populous – are all working on now. How do we get the building of the future that’s more driven by health and wellness? What we haven’t figured out is: What does the beast cost, and how do you build it?”

OVG is also delivering the Climate Pledge Arena (in Seattle, US) project for the Seattle Kraken, which will join the NHL fold in 2021.

Leiweke said the future of both Climate Pledge Arena and UBS Arena would “not be league certified” and would instead be certified by sustainability, sanitization and safety-diversity bodies – “We’re spending money now to get ahead of that because that’s what people are going to care about in your building.”

Work on UBS Arena was paused in March as it hit the COVID-19 speedbreaker, pushing the completion date of the venue back by two months. Construction has since resumed and recently the venue celebrated another milestone as the final steel beam was placed on its roof truss. The steel beam is painted white and features a red UBS logo, along with black scribbles of construction workers and arena partners.

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