LEXINGTON, Ky. – bdG Sports, one of the nation’s largest providers of college basketball content, conducted two event “bubbles” during the first week of the basketball season that included regular COVID-19 testing and venue tracing and management, both of which permitted all games in each location to be played.
With 11 NCAA Division I men’s and women’s teams playing at two sites in Fort Myers, Fla., and nine teams playing at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., bdG instituted a comprehensive health and safety protocol plan after partnering with Summit One Source, a Littleton, Colorado-based corporate solutions firm, and Loop Insights, a Vancouver-based public company specializing in artificial intelligence.
Teams were required to test before departure to the tournament site, then undergo testing upon arrival and throughout their stay. Each attendee downloaded the bdG All-Access wallet pass, provided by Loop Insights, on their phones, and check-in “tap” devices were installed throughout the key facilities in both markets, the team hotel and the arena. A limited number of spectators also were permitted and were subject to the same testing protocols as teams, officials and game personnel.
“Our team is extremely pleased at these impressive results,” said Brooks Downing, Founder and CEO of bdG Sports. “With numerous games being canceled at home sites across the country, we proved that creating a bubble environment with consistent testing combined with venue tracing and management at our points of entry were a winning game plan.”
All totaled, 1,742 tests were conducted and the 23 games that were scheduled to be played, were played. For the venue tracing, the #BeachBubble in Fort Myers featured 14 total check-in device locations, 553 total enrolled users and nearly 4,000 check-ins.
“We created a COVID-free environment that enabled teams, officials and tournament staff to complete their games as scheduled, and just as important, kept them healthy to continue to play as they return home from our event sites,” said Dr. Stephen Giorgianni, chief medical director for both event locations. “And our process of administering rapid antigen testing with rapid PCR tests as an available backup, we had a seamless activation with venue tracing and no positive cases, which is a testament to our teams who embraced bdG’s protocols throughout the event.”
Summit One sourced the testing and medical staffing for both locations while installing medical testing centers in both headquarter resorts. The ease of access to the testing centers and quick turnaround time on results were a boon for participating teams. Loops Insights then installed its proprietary equipment in both the resorts and game venues for the added layer of protection.
bdG’s “#BeachBubble” featured men’s teams such as Abilene Christian, ETSU and Middle Tennessee with Maryland, Arkansas and Wake Forest playing in the women’s field. The “#VegasBubble” included No. 2-ranked Baylor, Air Force, Seattle and both the men’s and women’s teams from Washington. Teams and leagues continue to reach out to bdG for games in Las Vegas as other games and events have canceled play due to COVID-19.
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