As MLSE plans for a return to more normal business operations in the coming months, the organization announced today that Scotiabank Arena has been named the first Canadian sports and entertainment venue to receive the WELL Health-Safety rating through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The health and safety designation is an important next step in MLSE’s ‘Back in Action’ plan that will see additional measures for welcoming back fans to its venues being announced, once deemed safe by local and provincial public health officials.
“As challenging and historic as the past year has been, the upcoming months for us, and our organizational strategy for re-opening our venues, will be unprecedented as well,” said Nick Eaves, Chief Venues and Operations Officer at MLSE. “Working to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Scotiabank Arena is an important foundation for our ‘Back in Action’ plan so that our fans, employees, players, artists and crews can be extremely confident that their health and safety is our top priority. We know that there is still a lot of work to be done, and we will continue to work closely with all levels of government and public health officials to be ready to deliver the best, and safest, experience for everyone when it is safe to return to games, concerts and other events.”
Scotiabank Arena was awarded the WELL Health-Safety Rating following the successful completion of an evidence-based review by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) with the support of Modern Niagara. The arena met the specific requirements for all new and existing building and space types focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and into the future. Many other venues have received the WELL Health-Safety Rating including Yankee Stadium in New York, Golden 1 Arena in Sacramento and Amalie Arena in Tampa.
“By achieving the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Scotiabank Arena, MLSE has taken necessary steps to prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors and stakeholders,” said IWBI Chief Commercial Officer Jessica Cooper. “From cleaning and sanitization to emergency preparedness and air and water quality management, Scotiabank Arena has implemented and validated operational interventions backed by scientific evidence to help lead the way towards a healthy and resilient recovery.”
The WELL Health-Safety Rating provides a centralized source and governing body to validate efforts made by owners and operators. It leverages insights drawn from the IWBI Task Force on COVID-19, in addition to guidance on the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Canada, global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, as well as recognized standard-making associations such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions, as well as core principles already established by IWBI’s WELL Building Standard, the premier framework for advancing health in buildings and spaces of all kinds.
Designed to empower owners and operators across large and small businesses alike to take the necessary steps in order to prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors and stakeholders, the WELL Health-Safety Rating can guide users in preparing their spaces for re-entry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, instilling confidence in those who come through the building as well as the broader community.
While an exact timeline for fans returning to venues for events remains undetermined, MLSE’s ‘Back in Action’ planning process is currently accounting for new government protocols, venue enhancements and use of technology, including the use of mobile ticketing, to ensure the safest and most convenient experience possible for all who attend events at its venues. All tickets to Scotiabank Arena events moving forward will be delivered digitally with mobile-only ticketing. Tickets can be managed through the official Scotiabank Arena Mobile App.
MLSE will provide further updates in the coming months as timelines for a return to normal operations becomes clearer. Additional detailed policies and procedures, FAQ and newly announced information will be available at ScotiabankArena.com.