While major sports leagues have postponed their opening days or suspended play indefinitely until fear around the novel coronavirus subsides, construction on many new stadiums and arenas continues.
However, some construction teams are dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks on their projects, as well as looming deadlines.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, home to the NFL's New Orleans Saints, is undergoing a four-year, $450 million facelift, with scheduled work to include concourse expansions, new entry gates, escalators, upgrades to food and beverage areas and improved technology infrastructure.
However, last week, according to CBS Sports, general contractor Broadmoor LLC sent 32 of the project's' 275 daily workers home after they tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Some days workers on the job could total as many as 500.
After ordering the affected workers off the job so that they can isolate, Broadmoor issued additional personal protective equipment to the remaining crews but did not shut down the project.
Las Vegas, Nevada
The NFL's Las Vegas Raiders are scheduled to kick off their inaugural season in the brand new $2 billion Allegiant Stadium this fall, although what those first games might look like is an unknown and dependent on how public health officials are able to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
What is certain is that despite reports of several workers testing positive for the coronavirus, construction, under the supervision and management of the Mortenson-McCarthy Joint Venture, has not slowed.
At the end of May, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that up to 31 stadium workers had tested positive for the virus. There are typically 2,000 workers on the site each day, with that figure ballooning to as high as 4,000 as crews keep up the pace necessary to meet the project schedule.
The JV has reportedly been sanitizing the site, making sure everyone entering the facility practices social distancing and providing sufficient training and PPE — all in an effort to reduce the chance that those working and visiting the stadium are exposed.
The University of Alabama's football stadium is undergoing a $106 million renovation, but progress hit a bump in May when an unknown number of workers tested positive for the coronavirus.
General contractor Caddell Construction Co. told the Tuscaloosa News that both its own employees and those of subcontractors tested positive, so it shut down construction for a weekend in order to sanitize the site and perform additional testing so that the rest of the project's workers could be cleared before returning to work.
Caddell said that workers are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and OSHA COVID-19 safety guidelines. In addition, the University has supplied the site with sanitation supplies, signage, thermometers and PPE.
The $5 billion SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, will be home to two NFL teams — the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers. A joint venture between AECOM and Turner Construction Co. is leading construction.
A continuous stream of positive coronavirus tests among the project's 3,000 daily workers had sent 18 workers home by the second week of June, prompting a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health investigation, according to the Los Angeles Times. There are no details yet about the scope of the department’s investigation.
While project officials have continued to provide safety gear and to enforce social distancing and other guidelines, construction has not stopped. The stadium is scheduled to open in August.
Construction of other stadium and arena projects like the Austin FC soccer stadium in Austin, Texas; the New York Islanders arena in Elmont, New York; and KeyArena in Seattle was either stopped or delayed due to mandatory stay-at-home orders, new coronavirus safety procedures or just an abundance of caution, but there have been no reported outbreaks of the coronavirus at these projects.