As the UCF volleyball team prepares for a game against Tulane University, all the focus is on the players as the fans watch them practice their plays.
As all this is happening, Jeff Dusin, Assistant Director of Event Management for UCF Athletics, is running all around the court; talking to people at the scorer’s table, TV crew, and even his own crew he has to manage during the game.
Dusin was gasping for breath when he finally stopped and stood right by the back way entrance of the Venue right before the first serve of the match.
Dusin runs the UCF operations team for UCF volleyball but Covid-19 has changed plenty of protocols for himself, his team, and the fans.
“One of the biggest things, from a fan’s perspective, is the limiting of capacity by 25 percent due to our local guidelines,” Dusin said. “We had to take out the first four rows on one side and the first two on the other just to create what we call, in our inner circle, 'the bubble'.”
A big part in setting up the Venue is killing rows and keeping the spectator area sanitized and supervised. Daniel Hewitt, the Senior Operations Manager for Spectra, is responsible for these tasks on game day.
Hewitt helps run events at Addition Financial Arena and the Venue, whether it be concerts, conferences, or UCF basketball and volleyball. COVID-19 has also affected these events in the arena over the past year, but with new guidelines like mask mandates, social distancing, and the work that Hewitt and his crew have to do every day, events have been slowly able to come back to the Arena.
“Now there’s just way more that goes into prepping the spaces, all the areas that fans are going to be using, and the actual participants of the event are going to be using are pre-treated before anyone’s in the building," Hewitt said. "This way making sure everything is clean before anyone enters the space.”
The fears about the safety of the fans have also been coming up in both the Operations departments for UCF and Spectra. Hewitt expressed his own concerns as well, but realizes he is a big part in getting out of this pandemic on the sports side of things.
“Now it’s [Covid] brought to people’s minds just the potential for disease and what can affect you when you are in an environment like that," Hewitt said. "So it’s really going to be up to facilities to make sure that they address some of those concerns."