Five point plan to safely screen sport 

Back in the Game: BT Sport’s guide to safely screening live sport

(Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Soon you’ll be able to open your doors to customers for the first time since mid-March, but how can you show live sport and comply with Government guidelines? Here are our tips on minimising risk to your staff and customers and getting the game on safely.

1. The Game Plan

To start operating again you need to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment to ensure you are doing everything you can to keep your staff and customers safe. This includes properly distancing tables and chairs, providing sanitiser and ensuring social distancing between staff and customers. Involve your team so they can see the lengths you are going to and also add in their own suggestions.

2. Crowd Control

Government guidance requires you to record details of visitors to your venue. Why not combine this with pre-booking for live games?  There’s plenty to show this summer – including multiple matches on the same day – as we play catch-up to complete the domestic and European competitions.  If you can, give customers the chance to pre-order their first round of food and drinks too.

If customers haven’t pre-booked and you have space available, you’ll need to consider safe queuing outside your venue. Once inside, keep customers at their tables where possible with table service, ordering apps, and ensuring only staff collect glasses.

Try to stagger entry and exit times and consider showing games on additional screens to seat more of your customers, some of who would have previously been standing at the bar. If you have space outside consider using screens there too. 

3. Rules of the Game

The Government guidelines state that “All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other.” This is to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 through airborne transmission. Let customers know that for now at least shouting, chanting and hugging are all strictly off limits. For your part, ensure the volume is reduced so no one will need to raise their voice.

4. Communication

Customers are much more likely to follow the new post lockdown rules and practices if they know them in advance, so publish what you expect from them on your website and social channels. As you will have changed the layout of your venue to accommodate the new guidelines, why not take a short video of how this all works and post it on social media.

BT Sport has a whole programme of free webinars, videos and tips to help you with your digital offer at www.btsportbusiness.com.

Remind customers of the guidelines in person when they arrive and with clear signage throughout the business. Marry this with further guidance on safety measures such as toilet queuing systems, sanitising and social distancing.

5. Key players

Try to ensure the same members of your team look after football fans for consistency and relationship building during their time in the venue with you. That relationship is always the key to the perfect match.

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