By Gary O’Brien
As Nationwide Arena welcomed fans to the March 2 Columbus Blue Jackets game vs. the Detroit Red Wings (the first game with fans since March 1, 2020), the venue announced it has earned the prestigious GBAC Star Certification Accreditation. This is another indication of the venue’s priority of providing a confident, safe environment for guests, staff and players.
“We are thrilled to welcome fans back to Nationwide Arena, and are confident that the health and safety protocols we’ve put in place show that we are meeting the highest standards in providing a safe and healthy environment as further validated by the GBAC Star Facility Accreditation,” said Mike Gatto, Senior Vice-President of Columbus Arena Sports and Entertainment (CASE) and the General Manager of Nationwide Arena.
The GBAC STAR™ program requires demonstrated compliance with 20 core elements from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment, emergency preparedness and response measures. Accreditation recognizes implementation of the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention. The program ensures facilities use best practices to limit future outbreaks, empowers cleaning staff to do their jobs safety and effectively and gives customers greater peace of mind.
“GBAC Star certification is the cleaning industry’s gold seal of approval, and assures that fans can safely attend events at Nationwide Arena,” said Don Brown, Executive Director of the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority (FCCFA).
“On the cusp of Blue Jackets fans being welcomed back to Nationwide Arena, it’s exciting to know they will have the extra layer of assurance in the facility having received GBAC STAR™ Accreditation,” said Brian Ross, President and CEO of Experience Columbus. “This third-party validation of their outbreak prevention and response capabilities is an important step in continuing to reopen the travel economy and welcome events back to our community.”
The Schottenstein Center (also managed by CASE), home to The Ohio State University’s Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Ice Hockey, as well as world-class concerts and events, is currently pursuing GBAC STAR Accreditation.
Gary O’Brien is Director of Communications for Columbus Arena Sports and Entertainment (CASE).