Yankee Stadium sets standard for sports stadiums by achieving WELL heath-safety rating

Launched in June and created by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all facility types, focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder education to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and broader health and safety-related issues into the future.

The rating requirements, which have been fulfilled by Yankee Stadium, serve as a blueprint for best operating procedures to help combat COVID-19, while also providing world-class standards for overall health and safety.

“A lot of what stadiums and entertainment venues are now thinking about is how to demonstrate to their constituents that they’re doing the right things and taking as many precautions as possible by making their efforts and achievements visible to athletes, fans and staff alike,” says Rachel Gutter, president of IWBI. “If your players and staff don’t feel like you are capable of supporting their safety, or if your fans don’t have line of sight to what you are doing to uphold their health, they are not going to return.”

Gutter says the WELL Health-Safety Rating is designed to be a kind of shorthand – “when you see the seal outside, you can feel more confident going inside.” By achieving this designation, which has been confirmed by a third-party verifier, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), she states the club can operate with confidence that they are utilizing best practices for players and staff, and that they are appropriately prepared to accommodate the reintroduction of fans when approved to do so by Major League Baseball and local governmental authorities.

The Yankees joined more than 100 organizations, encompassing over 500 facilities, who enrolled in the documentation-based program at launch and who have begun implementing its scientific guidance. Yankee Stadium achieved the WELL Health-Safety Rating by implementing features across five categories:

  • Air and water quality management, which includes the assessment of ventilation and fresh air supply through mechanical or natural means, and reviewing inventory of all filters and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) equipment.
  • Cleaning and sanitization procedures, including ensuring proper handwashing and surface contact by staff, improving cleaning practices and their frequency, and selecting cleaning products that disinfect without harmful ingredients.
  • Emergency preparedness programs, which provide a blueprint for dealing with unforeseen events and providing an actionable plan for re-entry after an emergency event.
  • Health service resources, which promote the well-being of employees through screening services, mental health services, seasonal vaccination programs and a smoke-free environment.
  • Stakeholder engagement and communications, which include employing proper signage throughout Yankee Stadium and promoting health literacy to employees, partners and patrons, including food service safety verification.

 

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