US venues hop on cleanliness bandwagon


Hard Rock Stadium receives accreditation Image: Hard Rock Stadium

Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, and Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas – all in the United States – are the latest facilities to secure GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association(ISSA).

With COVID-19 still throttling the world, sports facilities are pulling out all stops to ensure that fans step into a squeaky clean venue.

The gold standard of prepared facilities, GBAC STAR™ – provides third-party validation that organizations are undertaking thorough cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention strategies.

“With many facilities reopening around the world, they are eager to showcase their ongoing dedication to proper cleaning and safety protocols. We designed the GBAC STAR™ program to accredit facilities in weeks rather than months so that organizations can promote their achievement sooner and instill confidence among their visitors and employees,” maintained GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger.

Miami Dolphins trailblazer

Hard Rock Stadium at Florida in US – a global entertainment destination and home arena of the National Football League (NFL) team Miami Dolphins, was the first public facility to commit to earning GBAC STAR™ accreditation. The stadium successfully completed 20 program elements with specific performance and guidance criteria to earn accreditation.

“As the first NFL stadium to be accredited by GBAC STAR™, we are setting a precedent for how large venues should approach cleaning in the wake of the pandemic,” said Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Vice-Chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel.

“By following a credible third-party standard, we are confident that our facility not only meets, but exceeds, the expectations of our spectators and staff,” Garfinkel added.

STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles in US serves as the residence of four professional sports teams (Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, and Los Angeles Sparks), making it the first National Basketball Association(NBA), National Hockey League(NHL), and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) arena to receive GBAC STAR™ accreditation. In the 20-year history of the venue, it has staged over 250 events and greets more than four million visitors every year.

“We know that when the time is right for our guests, athletes, artistes, and our team members to experience the incredible energy within STAPLES Center again that our GBAC STAR™ accreditation demonstrates that we are taking the proper precautions to protect everyone once it is safe to host events again,” commented Lee Zeidman, President, STAPLES Center.

“We are honored to be one of the first GBAC STAR™ accredited arenas leading the way in maintaining cleanliness and continuing to make the safety of everyone our number one priority,” Zeidman added.

Yen for cleanliness

The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) – which boasts 2.1 million square feet of exhibit space – is the second largest convention facility in North America and more than 1.5 million attendees visit the center each year.

The Overland Park Convention Center – which is a Top 20 convention center of any size – was built in 2002 and is lodged at Kansas City’s largest suburb.

“We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our employees, guests, and attendees at the OCCC,”affirmed OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester.

“We are incorporating some of the most stringent protocols of the GBAC STAR™ program into plan and continue our efforts on implementing our Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines,” Tester added.

“The health and safety of our guests and employees is our top priority, and we recognize the important role that cleaning plays in reducing the risk of contamination and transmission,”stated Brett C Mitchell, CVE, General Manager, Overland Park Convention Center.

“The GBAC STAR™ program has helped us clearly outline and implement a plan for prevention, response, and recovery that will create a safer space for everyone that walks through our doors.” Mitchell added.

Third-party validation

To date, more than 2,400 facilities of all types and sizes are in the process of becoming accredited through the GBAC STAR™ program. Accredited facilities will renew annually to confirm they follow and improve upon the procedures they outlined in their initial applications.

“Formal accreditation speaks volumes about an organization’s commitment to best practices as the pandemic continues,” stated ISSA Executive Director John Barrett.

“We are thrilled to welcome these four facilities into a prestigious group of accredited facilities that is on pace to continuously grow in the coming weeks and months,” Barrett added.

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