Social Distancing at the Ector County Coliseum

The Silver Spur Gun & Blade show, June 13 and 14, will be Coliseum’s first event since the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine began. While the state of Texas has continued its process of reopening, that does not mean we can sacrifice vigilance for haphazardness. As such, the health and safety of Coliseum event attendees, Jackalopes fans, staff, players and volunteers remains the highest priority.

The Odessa Jackalopes, along with our partners at the Ector County Coliseum, are implementing new social distancing protocols for this summer, upcoming hockey season and beyond to ensure Coliseum patrons feel confident in attending events at the Ector County Coliseum.

“We’ve had the Plexiglas shields installed on every stand and beer stand, and on one side [of the stand] you order food and on the other side you pick it up” said Alison Trevizo, Director of Concessions. “It keeps the lines separated and people away from each other.”

The concession staff will continue to be trained and up to date in the latest CDC guidelines, according to Trevizo, and they will be required to wear masks and gloves at all times. In addition, condiments will be individually packaged to help limit germ transmission.

In terms of the sale of liquor and alcohol, Trevizo announced that they plan on allowing hockey fans to purchase alcohol from the Blue Line Bar and Grill and take it back to their seats. Previously, only beer was permitted outside of the designated areas and in the arena. She hopes this will not only improve fan experience but will also help with social distancing. However, the only draft stand that will be open will be the gravity draft beer dispenser, more commonly known as the Bottoms Up stand, located in the southeast corner of the building.

Trevizo and her staff have been working diligently cleaning the concession stands, kitchens, equipment and tables. This process has been going on for the past three weeks, all in part of the greater effort to clean and sanitize the Ector County Coliseum.

“It’s as clean as it’s ever been,” said Coliseum Assistant Director Allyson Gilbert.

However, cleaning the Coliseum and the concessions stands is just a small part of the ongoing larger effort to help slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re going to have hand-sanitizing stations available at every entrance, we’re going to have places that mark the areas that just need to be maintained for social distancing… were going to be cleaning the stands repeatedly throughout every event and checking the bathrooms once an hour to make sure everything is clean there,” Gilbert explained.

In addition to the cleaning and hand sanitizing stations, fans can expect some changes to their seating in order to maintaining social distancing among fellow patrons while still having an enjoyable experience.

“Until the governor says otherwise, we’re at a certain capacity right now,” said Gilbert. “We’re trying to stay mostly online with ticket purchasing so when you buy your tickets online you can buy two, four and six sections of seats and we maintain six feet between those sections.”

Gilbert went on to mention that families will be able to purchase tickets and sit next to each other. The Coliseum plans to have all entrances open and, depending on where their seat is located, fans will be asked to enter through the entrance closest to their seat and utilize the nearest concession stand and bathroom. The goal is to provide an environment at Coliseum events which makes practicing proper social distancing as easy as possible.

“We’re going to open all seven entrances, and we’re going to try to put [the entrance] on the tickets, just to make sure there’s not so many crowds or people lined up at the door.”

With these protocols in place, and continuously adjusting to the evolution of CDC guidelines, the Ector County Coliseum intends to be a safe place where fans can enjoy the many great events while also stopping the spread of COVID-19. Though these protocols are in place because of what has quickly become the new normal, there remains the possibility that lasting solutions can be found to increase efficiency and fan enjoyment.

“I think it will help a lot, the lines won’t be as long and it’s got a better flow to it that could’ve been more helpful in the past,” Trevizo said.

Regardless, confidence is high that these initiatives will help limit the potential spread of COVID-19 while allowing customers to enjoy their favorite events with confidence.

“I just think that us trying our best and showing an effort is going to make people a lot more confident coming out here for events and feeling like it’s clean in the building when you walk in and seeing hand sanitizing stations and things like that, I feel like that would make people feel… safer coming [to the Coliseum] knowing that our staff is taking the right precautions to keep them healthy.”