Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center announced that it will reopen to events this weekend.
The Center will open its doors to host the 47th Amateur Athletic Union Junior National Volleyball Championships this Sunday, July 14. The event will take place over 12 days with four days of competition per team. This is one of the first convention centers in North America to open amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to OCCC executive director Mark Tester, participants will arrive in three waves and there will be no spectators in attendance. However, 10,000 people will flood the center throughout the competition, which includes participants, chaperones, and coaches. In order to adhere to social distancing, there will be dedicated entrances and exits throughout the building and temperature checks will be implemented at entry points.
In regard to physical distancing of the actual event, courts and competitions will be spread out, and games will have staggered start times.
While the event was originally slated to take place in June, the AAU and the convention center agreed on a postponement. The center had to reschedule 21 conventions, bringing on an estimated economic impact of $375 million.
“Everyone is really late in solidifying what they’re doing, but we feel very optimistic about where we’re at,” Tester said. “Certainly, the theme parks reopening (Universal Orlando Resort on June 5 and both SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World on July 11) and our coming back as a community has really put us in a good position. As a matter of fact, optimistically speaking, I think we are in the best position of any (of the) first-tier cities.”
The Center is among the few venues across the country that have reopened, following suit of California’s Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino earlier this week. During this time, states have begun reopening, opting to hold socially-distant shows, while promoters and artists have been considering drive-in movie theater shows.