Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell
The Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell celebrates an exciting in-person edition amid the uncertainty generated by the pandemic
The organization of sporting events during the pandemic
On the final forehand of his opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas falls centimeters from the baseline, Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal lets out a scream and drops to the clay of the center court of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell , with arms raised in triumph and total ecstasy. The 35-year-old's heartfelt and emotional celebration is a fitting end to a very special and historic tournament in many ways.
Special, because not only did Nadal win the prestigious ATP tournament for a record-breaking twelfth time, but also because he did so at a time when events were few and because he was able to play in front of a real crowd with tennis fans, dignitaries and guests. VIP. Nadal's triumph brings to an end a complicated journey for all parties fully dedicated to ensuring that the 2021 edition of this tournament could take place. Due to the changing nature of the pandemic, regulations and restrictions continually varied in the months leading up to the event. The main VIP construction we delivered was redesigned nine times to adapt to new regulatory changes.
Do the event with an audience?
Pablo Joaquín Acevedo Garzolo, Operations Manager of the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona , commented on the process of this complex decision. “We set up a Covid commission that channeled all important decisions in the health field, integrating the measures of Procicat (health authority of the Generalitat of Caytalunya). This group acted under the leadership of the Consell Català de l' Esport (which acted as an intermediary with Procicat) and included the general director of the club, its production director, and the PMO (project manager) of Tennium.” They planned an event with 40% capacity, but in the end the audience was limited to 1,000 per day. This decision was made 2 months before the tournament, forcing us to go against the clock, for a tournament that is usually organized a year in advance.
A very flexible design
In the end, we were able to deliver a VIP facility of around 2,000 m2 with a highly flexible structural design, such as the Anova Vista models installed, which would allow us to adapt the internal partitions even during the tournament. This way, we ensured we could adjust the design at any time if changes in pandemic regulations required it, giving hosts confidence that the tournament could continue as planned.
The facilities we delivered included a player restaurant, a hospitality terrace and a VIP restaurant. We also provide various support structures, ranging from the entrance to the bathrooms and kitchens. The total capacity of all areas was reduced to less than 30% of that of previous editions. For example, 1050 m2 of restaurant space was used to accommodate 200 people at the same time, so that guests could enjoy their meals in different shifts.
According to Pablo Acevedo, the health measures requested by the CCE were of various types: signage, distancing, masks, alcohol and gel, 'covid brigades' informing attendees and helping to avoid crowds, motion sensors to control capacity, cleaning and frequent disinfection of spaces, manual disinfection of areas after each hospitality shift... And in the covered areas, the CO2 level was constantly measured to ensure that the air quality required to prevent the spread of the virus existed. Several systems were put in place to renew the air: the structures designed by Losberger De Boer integrated a cross ventilation system, as well as extraction motors that were installed before and after each meal shift.
The aesthetic style
According to Mónica Melero (Losberger De Boer Spain), the organization wanted to work on the restaurant space and give it its own identity. The idea is that you would know or feel that you are in the tournament just because of the personality of the space. “We are in Barcelona, a Mediterranean city, and the village has always breathed it: teak wood, white fabrics… and we wanted to maintain the Mediterranean style and give it a more exclusive touch. We call it “Luxury Mediterranean lifestyle”. We have achieved this with more separated tables (here exclusivity and protection against covid coincide...), with large treviras that separated the spaces to give more privacy, and with olive trees as the centerpiece of the restaurant. The lighting of the space with the suspended lamps brought great warmth to the space. It was also necessary to maintain the personality of the club and remember its history, so the treviras were printed with the images of the winning tennis players in the history of the tournament. All great teamwork with Tennium Barcelona.
A few words from the Real Barcelona Tennis Club
“ Losberger De Boer is very committed and, during this pandemic year, has continually adapted to all the changes we requested, so that the tournament could be held with the maximum amount of safety and prevention measures, as required by the authorities,” says María Rosa Cruells, General Director of RCTB 1899.
We are more than proud to say that, despite many challenges faced, we were able to contribute to the recovery of the historic Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell ATP tennis tournament. We have been part of this tournament since 2009. 12 years now! However, the 2021 edition will always be special to us, due to the challenging and constant changes that we helped the host company Tennium overcome , and simply because we are delighted to have been able to contribute to bringing this event back to the people of Barcelona and the tennis fans from all over the world.
Sports and events play an important role in the daily lives of millions and millions of people around the world. We hope that by helping to make an event like this possible again, in a safe and compliant way, we can help spread joy and positivity, as well as play a small part in a gradual return to normality.
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