SPORTS

Thunder Issue Fan Guidelines and Protocols for Next Season

Posted: Updated:

Chesapeake Energy Arena

The Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday issued guidelines and protocols for fans attending home games at Chesapeake Arena for the 2021-22 season.

There will be reduced capacity for fans, with social distancing, masks required, as well as contactless entry and sanitization.

The protocols and guidelines were developed by a health and safety task force comprised of representatives from the Thunder and in partnership with ASM Global, the City of Oklahoma City, OKC-County Health Department, OU Health and the NBA.

“We remain focused on providing a safe and healthy environment for our guests as they return to enjoy the Thunder Basketball experience,” said Danny Barth, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for the Thunder. “We have worked in close collaboration with the City of Oklahoma City, arena management and local health authorities to develop and implement these important measures.”
“We are committed to fostering strong public confidence in the health and safety of the experience when guests return to the facility for events,” said Chris Semrau, General Manager of Chesapeake Energy Arena. “We recognize our guests’ desire to fully enjoy the event journey and we have taken the necessary steps to ensure a safe environment and a memorable experience.”

The reopening health and safety measures include:

  • Chesapeake Arena has upgraded its HVAC system to provide a higher quality of filtered air to meet ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) Merv13 standards. 
  • Electrostatic sprayers will also be used to evenly disperse disinfectants across surfaces quickly and evenly. 
  • Common spaces will be subject to reduced capacity in order to best serve physical-distancing protocols, such as elevators, first aid rooms and restrooms.
  • Additional staff will be dedicated to restrooms and other high-traffic areas, and the arena seating bowl will be fully disinfected prior to fan arrival.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the arena.
  • Face masks will be required of guests and staff to enter the venue and should be worn at all times, unless actively eating or drinking. This policy will be strictly monitored. 
  • Reduced seating capacity for all arena events, including Thunder games, allowing for proper and safe six-foot distance between groups of guests.
  • Reduced capacity within arena bars and restaurants, with tables set six feet apart. 
  • Floor markers will be placed in all areas to help promote physical distancing of at least six feet. 
  • Full contactless mobile ticketing will be implemented for guests to use self-serve ticket scanners at all arena entrances, reducing points of contact with staff. Mobile tickets for Thunder games can be seamlessly accessed or transferred via the Thunder App or okcthunder.com
  • Contactless scanners will be installed at all concession and merchandise locations to offer the ability to use credits cards without physically exchanging the card with staff. This technology has been put in place in an effort to transition to a fully cashless environment throughout the arena.
  • Additional contactless payment options (Apple Pay, Google Wallet) will be available at every point of purchase. 
  • In preparation for event days, additional cleaning staff will available to facilitate increased cleaning and sanitization, with a focus on high-touch areas.
  • A new mobile food and beverage ordering system, via the Thunder App, will allow ordering and paying via mobile phone and offering express pickup locations in an effort to maximize physical distancing in concessions lines.
  • Plexiglass barriers will be installed at all concession stands to reduce contact between guests and employees.
  • All Chesapeake Arena staff will undergo additional health and safety training prior to the NBA season. Staff will also be subject to temperature checks and will wear appropriate PPE such as face masks, gloves and goggles as needed during games and events.

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