Queensland’s major sporting venues will welcome back footy fans this weekend, in a trial announced by Deputy Premier Steven Miles in Parliament today.
COVID-Safe site-specific plans have been approved for Stadiums Queensland venues this weekend including The Gabba, Suncorp Stadium and Metricon Stadium, allowing for crowds of up to 2000 people.
Depending how the trial goes a further decision will be made to allow for the graduated return of increased numbers of fans to these venues.
“We’re approving a staged approach to returning fans to major sporting events and crowd numbers will continue to be evaluated,” Mr Miles said
“Live sport is important for fans and the industry, so we were pleased Stadiums Queensland was able to provide a comprehensive, staged strategy that reduces risk by minimising congestion and contact.
“There will be a focus on extra cleaning and sanitisation and venues have demonstrated social distancing in their seating plans with segmented zones with 17 dedicated facilities and exits to reduce potential for virus spread.
“One of the benefits of events in stadia is that they are ticketed, which helps to enable tracing requirements if necessary.
“I also ask anyone who has downloaded the COVID Safe App to ensure it is on so if there were a confirmed case Health authority could rapidly notify any close contacts.”
Sports Minister Mick de Brenni said stadium operators would do everything they can to welcome patrons back with great care, to ensure the long-term goal of filling stadiums to full capacity, and getting stadium staff and the substantial supply chain, back to work.
“Stadium cleaners, ushers, and venue managers are working hard to facilitate a safe return for fans, and they’ll especially focus on ensuring spectators have all the information and support they need in the lead up to and on game day itself,” Mr de Brenni said.
“They’re implementing a ‘checkerboard’ approach to seat sales to limit the patrons in each row, with unavailable seats clearly indicated, with further lifting of crowd restrictions hinging on the success of this weekend's trials.” he said.
“To keep everyone safe, we’ll also up our cleaning of high traffic areas like hand-rails pre, during and post event and our staff will be wearing personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves throughout events.
“We’re really looking forward to having fans back and hope that patrons can help us demonstrate how it can be achieved safely and sensibly.
Minister de Brenni also said this weekend would mark halfway for Stage 2 for community sport, with non contact training well underway at most clubs and Stage 3 and full competition just weeks away.
“We know that mums and dads, administrators and players are also keen to see greater flexibility at community sport and recreation clubs.
“We’ll be working with industry and the Chief Health Office to examine how this can happen in Stage 3.”
A variety of stadium activations like kick to kick and player autographs will also not be feasible while restrictions remain, to meet social distancing requirements ensure patron safety and comply with the biosecurity principles of the professional sports’ governing bodies.
Ticket and event information is available at www.stadiums.qld.gov.au
Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles