- The Jacksonville Jaguars have announced a partnership with Honeywell to monitor air quality at team facilities in real time.
- Jacksonville was one of the first teams in the NFL to implement an in-stadium touchless payment solution.
- The Jaguars are planning on hosting 100% capacity at TIAA Bank Field for the 2021 NFL season.
One positive legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic will be an overall higher expectation level for general cleanliness. I travel constantly and every hotel I check into gives me an in-depth discourse on their health and safety policies. While I expect the lower echelon of the hospitality industry to quickly return to their pre-pandemic squalor any hotel at the 3 star or above level is going to make damn sure the place is clean. If you’re staying at the 4.5 or 5 star properties I frequent you can expect the place to be spotless.
The same is going to be true with public spaces including stadiums and arenas. Over the past couple of decades, sports venues have done a better job keeping things clean. You could even expect semi-clean restrooms most of the time. Up until the turn of the century, however, it was a different matter. Some stadiums–Shea Stadium in New York, for example–were infamous for having a downright filthy stadium. Even grown men found the restrooms at Shea and other stadiums in the Northeast too nasty to contemplate. I can only imagine the type of diseases that have been transmitted in sports stadiums of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
That’s not going to fly anymore in the post COVID-19 world. Teams and the stadiums they play in are cleaning it up and taking every step to make it almost absurdly clean and sanitized for the American sporting public. Sure, it might be some combination of PR and liability protection but whatever the reason the experience of attending live sporting events–and for that matter most types of live entertainment–will be much more enjoyable with some semblance of hygienic standards in place.
The National Football League (NFL) already has a reputation as an organization run by tightly wound anal retentives and you can be sure that they’ll take high standards for germ and virus free fandom as a competitive challenge. Some teams are even going above and beyond–one such team is the Jacksonville Jaguars who are going to make sure that new head coach Urban Meyer is kept in a sanitized environment where he won’t get sick. The Jaguars were one of the first teams to implement contactless payments for ticketing and concessions at TIAA Bank Field. Their Jags Pay platform is integrated into the official team app and will not only sanitize but expedite the process of buying food, drink and swag at the stadium.
They’re now raising their game even more. In anticipation of returning to 100% capacity this season they’re taking every step possible to make sure that players, staff and fans get the most well sanitized, safe and hygienically pure ecosystem imaginable. While it might only be partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic there’s no doubt that the overall obsession with health and safety is the catalyst. For that reason, the Jags are going to be monitoring air quality in their facilities in *real time*.
It wasn’t that long ago that you could assume that the air quality in any sports venue would be pretty damn bad. Times have changed, however, and the Jags are at the forefront. Last week, they announced a partnership with Honeywell (NYSE: HON) for a ‘Healthy Buildings Dashboard’ that will monitor conditions in real time. In addition to glorified thermostat functions like temperature and humidity it’ll monitor CO2 levels and other more esoteric types of data:
The Healthy Buildings dashboard will help the Jaguars’ facilities staff quickly identify and correct critical building controls issues, including air quality factors such as carbon dioxide levels, temperature and humidity.
The Honeywell dashboard seamlessly integrates into existing systems within the stadium, giving the Jaguars’ facilities staff a comprehensive and upgraded view of building conditions prior to staff and players entering the stadium. The dashboard can be expanded to include other indicators such as occupancy and sanitization tracking.
Michael Webb, vice president of technology, Jacksonville Jaguars, said that the new technology is all about fan engagement…no….wait….that’s sports betting. This is something else:
“Monitoring air quality in enclosed spaces throughout the stadium like offices, meeting rooms and locker rooms is critical. Honeywell has helped us to quickly and efficiently deploy a custom solution suited for our needs. We have worked hard, alongside Honeywell, to develop and implement solutions to provide a safer for experience for players and staff that not only kept us playing football last season but provide for a healthier workplace in the future.”
Jeff Kimbell, Honeywell senior vice president and chief commercial officer, is excited to bring his company’s technology to the Jacksonville Jaguars:
“During these unusual times, helping sports teams return to the field is a way many people feel a small sense of normalcy. We’re proud to work with the Jaguars’ team to help provide a safer environment for players and staff and keep the 2020 and 2021 seasons up and running for football fans everywhere.”
Innovative technology like this is what will eventually get the world back to some semblance of normalcy….but hopefully a bit cleaner. Honeywell previously worked with the Carolina Panthers to get their stadium in Charlotte up to snuff.