1) DD: How were the Texans able to decide 'Yes, we will have fans in the building?' You've got to get approval because of what we've been going through with the pandemic from different folks, don't you?Schriever: We do. The governor's office has some guidelines as far as sporting events and things we need to adhere to. We looked at CDC guidelines as well as some NFL guidelines we need to follow. There's a lot that goes into it. There's the ticket part of it, but the game day part of it is even trickier.
2) DD: How many tickets can you sell? You can sell X amount of tickets, but a lot of times they don't always show up, do they?
Schriever: Yes, and right now we're at about 20 percent capacity. So that's a little over 13,000. People will be buying tickets in what we call pods. So that will be a group of let's say, four tickets. That means you're sitting next to your buddies, but nobody else is sitting within six feet of you. So on every row, there'll be two pods. So let's say there's twenty two seats across. You have four seats and then there'll be at least four seats between you and the next group. So when you buy those tickets, you have to use those. You can't decide 'I'm not going to go, I'll sell two of them online.' You can't do that because then you would have somebody sitting next to you that you don't know. So you have to be sitting with somebody that you're familiar with.
3) DD: What what sort of new challenges does that present for you guys?
Schriever: It's laying it out to where it makes sense. So that everybody's away from each other and when you do it on a chart, when you actually get out there in the stadium, it might be a little bit different than what it looked like initially. Trying to get a mix of how many seats are sold in twos and fours, because we find as we go, we might need to change a four to a two. Once you do that, you lose two of those seats. You can't sell it to somebody else. So it's a moving target.
4) DD: What about getting into the game? How is it a lot different this year?
Schriever: When this all started back in March, we started talking to our partners, people that run the building and our concessionaire, trying to think about how we can make less touch points for the fan on gameday. So when somebody comes out here, they're not touching as many items as they come through. The first thing is when it comes to security, we've got new magnetometers so you don't have to take your cell phone out of your pocket. You leave your stuff in your pocket, just walk straight through the magnetometer. You don't have to sit it on a table, which is one thing. All the tickets will be mobile. So they'll just be on your phone. Other things that eliminate touch points: we'll be cashless at the concession stand, so you'll be using a credit card. That speeds up the process, too. But there's one less thing for somebody to touch.
5) DD: Also, the ATMs are closed, aren't they?
Schriever: That's right. We will not have ATMs available. Also folks will be able to order food on an app and then go pick it up at the concession stand. So they just place the order, walk up to their designated stand and pick it up. So again, we're just trying to cut down the touchpoints a fan has throughout a game.
6) DD: Also, like everyone else, you've got to wear a mask. That's not just in the stadium. That applies to when you get on the property, doesn't it?
Schriever: Yes. Really, once you get here and get out of your car, you need to put the mask on. That's the real big thing the CDC pushes: wearing a mask and social distancing. We're going to really beat the drum on those things as we go.
7) DD: Do I need to bring in my own hand sanitizer?
Schriever: We have 475 hand sanitizer stations throughout the property. They're going to be at the gates coming in. They're by the escalators. There in the common areas in the concourses. They're by the concession stands. They're outside the restrooms going into the restroom. It's not going to be hard to find hand sanitizer stations.
8) DD: The folks that work at the game, they're being held to just as a high standard, if not a higher standard, than the fans are as far as safety, right?
Schriever: All the staff that come to work each game, are sent a questionnaire before they get to the games. They have to fill it out, saying that they haven't had any symptoms, that they're not running a temperature. They haven't had contact with anyone that has had COVID. Then when they get on property, we check their temperature too,to make sure they don't have temperature over 100.4 degrees.