The NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins have made a number of improvements to PPG Paints Arena in preparation to eventually welcome back fans to a safe environment.
While the team is not yet allowed the return of fans due to state and local protocols, updates were designed and completed during the off-season with the assistance of the Penguins’ arena management partner, ASM Global.
New safety initiatives at PPG Paints Arena include drone disinfecting technology in the arena bowl, autonomous UV floor scrubbers, touchless faucets and flush valves in all restrooms, 200-plus hand sanitizer stations and enhanced cleaning protocols throughout the building. The arena also meets or exceeds all HVAC guidelines set forth by the NHL and NHLPA in their Return to Play protocols.
“This has been a comprehensive effort by the Penguins and ASM Global staff, working with local health officials and other expert advisors, to ensure the safe return of Penguins hockey to PPG Paints Arena,” said David Morehouse, president and CEO of the Penguins. “These initiatives and policies will carry over into a post-Covid environment. We also have prepared for the return of fans with enhancements for a safe and efficient game-night experience, including mobile ticketing, mobile ordering and touchless self-checkout scanners for food and beverage.”
The Penguins and ASM developed their arena protocols based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Many of the same protocols are being activated at more than 325 ASM Global facilities worldwide as part of ASM’s “VenueShield” re-opening program.
Over the past few months, the Penguins and their food-and-beverage partner, Aramark, completed significant renovations throughout the arena to further elevate the in-game dining experience.
In addition, Rivers Casino and BetRivers.com are creating a branded, hi-tech BetRivers Sportsbook-Style Lounge in the lower arena bowl. The lounge will feature two rows of luxury seating where fans will be able to watch Penguins games live while betting via the BetRivers Pennsylvania app on their personal mobile devices. The new space is being created by removing several rows at the top of section 120. Completion is expected this spring.
Fans will also have access to a Penguins app that has been upgraded to provide a safer, more touchless experience. Features will include mobile ticketing (a seamless ticket purchase, with seat suggestions based on preferences or past purchases), a customized mobile wallet (allowing users to load their wallets with preferred credit cards), and a mobile ordering experience with express pick-up for food, beverage and merchandise inside PPG Paints Arena.
Whenever fans are permitted to return, the Penguins will work with local and state health officials on policies for crowd capacity, social distancing, arena entry and exit.