A closer look at Leicester Riders’ Morningside Arena’s COVID secure efforts

By Samuel Gill

After a previous article regarding Leicester Riders’ start to the season without fans and the efforts of those involved with the Morningside Arena, Leicestershire Press were invited down to see these first hand this past week.

An appointment needed to be booked in advance to come down to the arena and this will be the same on game night to enable segregation in times between those coming in.

As an arena, it is already set up for events seating wise with 1m+ distancing with the seats designed to accommodate this meaning nothing has had to change.

But on arrival, a temparature check is completed by the staff on site and you are required to download an app and sign up for a guest card which is then used to enter the turnstiles in the arena.

Hand sanitiser stations are utilised all over the arena for quick and easy access and a one way system is used as well.  The courts are also split up into three zones meaning if self isolation is needed, they can pin point who has been with them for Track and Trace.

Ventilation is also heavily used as well as on a business side, the use off the same system for the app so fans can easily purchase merchandise or refreshments while on site.

Fergus Garner works for both Leicester Riders and Morningside Arena and has seen these changes first hand since the country was forced into lockdown.

“It’s been good as it’s given us some down time to really focus on bedding in the new system and putting in these procedures as usually we’re quite busy with events and basketball so we don’t get that time so we’ve kind of used it to our advantage,” he said.

“We are on top of all the procedures so when fans do come back, I think we will be more than ready.”

Riders are set to kick off their season at Morningside Arena on 8 November without fans but against the Newcastle Eagles which begins their BBL Cup campaign.