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Return to Play Protocols Announced

Monday, February 1st
Return to Play Protocols Announced

WICHITA, Kan. (Dec. 16) - INTRUST Bank Arena announced today that Wichita Thunder home games will be played with a limited number of fans beginning with their home opener on Jan. 1, 2021.

The arena will reopen to fans amid a series of enhanced health and safety measures implemented throughout the building in consultation with the Sedgwick County Health Department. The new health and safety measures are designed to keep fans safe and healthy, while still being able to enjoy the game night and entertainment experience.

INTRUST Bank Arena has been granted permission by Sedgwick County to allow 11.5% capacity for Wichita Thunder games. Fans returning to the arena can expect to experience a new customer journey as substantive practices, protocols and technologies are being implemented. For the reintroduction of fans, health and safety measures will include six-foot seating distance between groups of guests, required face masks, clear bag policy, established contactless, self-service ticket scanning and concession purchases, plexiglass barriers at point of sale locations, social distancing signage and mandated, strict hygiene and disinfecting procedures throughout the building.

Due to the limited number of fans permitted in the building, there will be no early entry. Doors will open one hour prior to puck drop. Additionally, the Cox Lounge will be closed until further notice.

The protocols and guidelines being implemented at INTRUST Bank Arena were developed by ASM Global's VenueShield program. VenueShield is an advanced environmental hygiene protocol that will be deployed in more than 300 ASM Global facilities around the world. ASM Global, which manages INTRUST Bank Arena, is the world's leading venue management and services company. ASM Global continues to refine and develop VenueShield by collecting and monitoring data, researching new technology and products, and updating best practices, particularly as they relate to COVID-19.

INTRUST Bank Arena has also made a change to its bag policy, adopting a Clear Bag Policy for all ticketed events. The clear bag policy will speed up the entry process into the venue, improve security and limit touch points. Clear bags allow staff to check for prohibited items without having to touch or open a bag. Bags larger than 14" x 6" x 14" will not be allowed. Each ticketed guest can carry one large clear bag - either a one-gallon plastic storage bag or the 14" by 6" by 14" clear bag - plus a small clutch purse (5.5” x 8.5”). The Wichita Thunder will have clear bags available for fans to pick up from the Thunder office starting next week. For more information regarding the Clear Bag Policy, click here.

"Our entire team remains focused on providing a safe and healthy environment for our guests and employees as they return to INTRUST Bank Arena to experience live events," said AJ Boleski, General Manager of INTRUST Bank Arena. "We have worked for months, and in collaboration with Sedgwick County and ASM Global, to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for the return of fans and we are confident that it will inspire confidence and trust in the guests that use our venue.” The reopening health and safety measures include:

INTRUST Bank Arena has upgraded its HVAC system to provide a higher quality of filtered air and has installed bi-polar ionization equipment throughout the facility.Electrostatic sprayers will 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 and enforced.Reduced seating capacity for all arena events, including Wichita Thunder games, allowing for proper and safe six-foot distance between groups of guests.Reduced capacity within arena bars and lounges, with tables set six feet apart.Floor markers will be placed in all areas to help promote physical distancing of at least six feet.A Clear Bag Policy has been implemented and bags larger than 14" x 6" x 14" will not be allowed. Each ticketed guest can carry one large clear bag - either a one-gallon plastic storage bag or the 14" by 6" by 14" clear bag - plus a small clutch purse (5.5” x 8.5”).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 Wichita Thunder games can be seamlessly accessed or transferred via customer's Select-A-Seat account.Concessions will utilize a reduced menu, have dedicated beverage attendants, offer single use condiment packets and have plexiglass barriers in place, all in an effort to limit contact. Additional contactless payment options (Apple Pay, Google Wallet) will be available at every point of purchase.A new mobile food and beverage ordering system will allow ordering and paying via mobile phone and offering express pickup locations in an effort to maximize physical distancing in concessions lines.In preparation for event days, additional cleaning staff will available to facilitate increased cleaning and sanitization, with a focus on high-touch areas.Public address announcements and digital and physical signage placed throughout arena to help promote physical distancing.All INTRUST Bank Arena staff will undergo additional health and safety training prior to welcoming fans back and will complete health & safety questionnaires in advance of each scheduled shift.All staff, vendors and volunteers will undergo a touchless temperature screening before entering the workplace. All staff to wear face coverings for the duration of every event, routinely wash their hands with soap and water, and physical distance.

Further details about the steps being taken for health and safety are available here.