As the world continues to work out how to deal with COVID-19 at all levels of society, stadiums and arena bosses are working especially hard on ways to allow fans back in a way that will allow for social distancing.

But spare a thought for Nick Eaves, Chief Venues & Operations Officer at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), who is responsible for a number of Toronto’s leading indoor and outdoor venues.

While MLSE own a number of leading sports organisations – Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), Toronto FC (MLS) and Toronto Argonauts (CFL) – they also operate a large number of arenas, including BMO Field, Scotiabank Arena, OVO Athletic Centre and Ford Performance Centre.

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Speaking at our Toronto Virtual Summit, Nick told us about the challenges that come with the return of fans in stadiums.

With each facility home to different sports, teams and sets of fans, the logistical challenge Eaves and his team face is not to be envied.

Speaking to UCFB students as part of the recent Toronto Virtual Summit, he admits that he’s nervous about people’s safety.

Eaves said: “People’s safety is our responsibility every time they come into one of our venues. We’ve had to consider their health and safety through many lenses for as long as any of us have been in this business – but a global pandemic is new for most of us.”

He concluded: “Adding that expectation and right of safety is new, it’s a significant responsibility and we’re absolutely determined to do it in a way that is fully informed and takes into account best practices. Our commitment is complete in terms of doing exactly that.”