Sports arenas

Sports arenas strive to make the air safer for fans


The great college basketball tournament in the United States, known as “Mars Madnessbegins this week. The men’s tournament is in the state of Indiana and the women’s tournament is in Texas.

Both tournaments allow fans to attend matches. And all the matches take place indoors.

During the coronavirus pandemic, very few people were allowed to attend indoor sporting events in the United States. But that is changing as more people are vaccinated against the virus and COVID-19 spreads a bit slower.

Most interiors arenas which will allow fans to watch the matches in person are very important. They can hold around 20,000 people. However, during the pandemic, attendance will be limited to around 25%. Fans will need to wear face coverings. Fans who do not know each other will not be allowed to sit together. And arenas will work to make sure fresh air comes in with powerful air circulation systems.

Fans wear masks and sit in demarcated seats during an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Wednesday March 10, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn.

But are these events safe?

Allen Hershkowitz is an environmental specialist. He said he would go to an indoor sporting event as long as others in attendance played by the rules.

“Given the protocols, I would feel good about it, ”he said.

The arenas are very high from floor to floor. ceiling. Experts say it helps with safety.

Richard Corsi is the director of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Portland State University. He said: “I think the risks are probably very low” if people follow the rules, stay separate from each other and keep their faces covered unless they are eating or drinking.

Ryan Gensler is the sports director of a company that designs large arenas. He said most buildings built over the past 20 years that host sporting events already have good systems for moving and purifying the air. They were built this way to improve the experience of people watching the games, not because of pandemic concerns.

New York Rangers fans celebrate a second period goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 15, 2021, in New York City.  (Bruce Bennett / Pool Photo via AP)

New York Rangers fans celebrate a second period goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 15, 2021, in New York City. (Bruce Bennett / Pool Photo via AP)

Ana Rule is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University. She said large indoor arenas like Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis have a lot of air. Lucas Oil Stadium will host the final three games of the men’s college basketball tournament. It can accommodate around 75,000 people. But during March Madness, only 17,500 fans will be able to attend each game.

She explained that the particles that enter the air when people breathe will have room to spread. “So that helps,” she said.

Shandy Dearth studies disease for a large university in Indianapolis. She said if the number of COVID-19 cases was still growing unchecked, it wouldn’t be a good idea to let fans watch the games. But conditions are improving now. She said people still shouldn’t gather in large groups when they arrive at the games. And they should continue to wear face coverings.

“We have a lot of lessons learned from the last year,” Dearth said, “so it’s not an experience. I think we know enough now to know what to do.

I am Dan Friedell.

Stephen Whyno wrote this story for The Associated Press. Dan Friedell adapted it for Learn English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in this story

tournament -not. a sports competition or a series of competitions involving many players or teams and which generally lasts at least several days

Madness -not. a state of extreme distress or excitement; mental illness

arena -not. a building for sports and other forms of entertainment that has a large central area surrounded by seating

protocol -not. a system of rules that explain correct conduct and procedures to be followed in formal situations

ceiling -not. the inner surface at the top of a room


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