Events in Scottsdale in the COVID-19 environment

While many restrictions on gatherings and activities remain in place as part of statewide efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, some special events in Scottsdale have been approved under guidelines established by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

Under Governor Executive Order 2020-43 (PDF download), organized public events of more than 50 people are prohibited unless the city has approved the event, and only if adequate safety precautions are implemented, including physical distancing measures.

Scottsdale’s event review process

The city’s events team has created a specific process to evaluate events proposed during COVID restrictions. Applicants provide specific safety and operations plans that must include enhanced hygiene and cleaning practices, limits on crowd capacity and gathering areas, and appropriate physical distancing measures. Staff reviews these submissions and addresses any issues prior to authorizing events.

Monitoring for compliance

Once events are underway, city staff conduct spot checks to monitor for compliance with the event safety plan, and work with producers to ensure plans are followed and address any issues discovered or reported on site.

Operating and system upgrades at city venues

For events at city-owned venues (such as WestWorld), additional sanitizing stations are in place for the public and event staff. The city has also increased custodial staffing to clean common spaces and surfaces more frequently. Venue-wide disinfection occurs between events (including power-washing if appropriate). 

Advanced filtration and air treatment technologies will reduce the spread of germs and viruses; systems have been engineered, purchased and are being installed in the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center, WestWorld’s primary indoor event facility. Similar systems are being designed and will be installed at other city-owned facilities including Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.

These specific systems will be installed at WestWorld’s Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center by the end of October unless otherwise noted.

  • Bipolar Ionization technology can “collect” contaminants in an airstream, and will be installed within the facility’s air handling systems. 
  • Ultraviolet lighting (Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation) will be installed near restrooms and other areas where people tend to congregate – research shows that UVGI can eliminate 99 percent of pathogens in an airstream.
  • Some of these systems are temporary installations for current use while permanent systems are purchased/installed. 
  • Additional air exhaust systems will be added to the TNEC’s North Hall and Equidome spaces, which will mean that air is no longer “recycled” within them – the air supply will be 100 percent from the outside. These systems are expected to be installed by December, 2020, prior to the 2021 event season.
Similar systems are being designed for other city venues including Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale's Museum of the West.

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