Florida Panthers’ BB&T Center Becomes First NHL Arena to Achieve WELL Health-Safety Rating For Fighting COVID-19

The Florida Panthers’ BB&T Center has become the first NHL arena to receive certification for compliance with IWBI standards and protocols for fighting the spread of COVID-19 and preparedness to safely accommodate fans upon reopening.

The Panthers and BB&T Center have been recognized in five areas of activity that focus on operating rules, cleaning and maintenance protocols, design strategy, leadership engagement and emergency preparedness in the fight against COVID-19.

“The health and safety of the BB&T Center family, our guests and the entire community are the most important things ahead of the arena’s opening. Earning the WELL rating, the global certification of quality in fighting the spread of COVID-19, recognizes the efforts of our team led by BB&T Center General Manager Tom Embry. This means that once we open, we can create the safest environment for guests, players and employees, “said Panthers COO Sean McCaffrey.

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SUNRISE, Fla. – BB&T Center, home of the Florida Panthers, has become the first National Hockey League arena to achieve the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI)’s WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. The certification, which has been confirmed by third-party verifier, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), recognizes BB&T Center’s adherence to the IWBI’s stringent guidelines and protocols for combatting COVID-19 and preparedness to safely accommodate fans upon reopening.

The cutting edge BB&T Center is the most notable sports and entertainment venue in Florida and among the best worldwide, hosting hundreds of major sports and entertainment events each year with the world’s most sought-after performers.

“The health and safety of our BB&T Center family, guests and community is the single most important thing as we look towards reopening our doors,” said Florida Panthers Chief Operating Officer Sean McCaffrey. “Achieving the WELL Health-Safety Rating, which serves as the global benchmark for best operating procedures to help combat COVID-19, is a testament to our team’s tireless efforts, led by BB&T Center General Manager Tom Embrey, to ensure the safest possible environment for our guests, players and employees when we reopen.”

Providing a centralized source and governing body to validate health and safety efforts made by owners and operators in preparing their spaces for re-entry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WELL Health-Safety Rating leverages IWBI Task Force on COVID-19 insights and guidance on the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections from the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, and leading academic and research institutions, as well as recognized standard-making associations such as ASTM International and ASHRAE to instill confidence in those who visit and work in the building as well as the broader community.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how critically important it is to prioritize health and safety in the spaces where we gather. By achieving the WELL Health-Safety Rating, the Florida Panthers and BB&T Center have demonstrated incredible leadership in directly supporting the health, safety and overall well-being of players, fans, employees and their broader community,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO of IWBI.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating recognizes the Florida Panthers and BB&T Center’s achievements across five core achievement areas focusing on operational policies, cleaning and maintenance protocols, design strategies, stakeholder engagement, and emergency preparedness in the wake of COVID-19, now and into the future:

  • Air & Water Quality Management – with a focus on enhanced air treatment, filtration, and ventilation including a comprehensive system-wide assessment of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) equipment, filters, and fresh air supply mechanisms; rigorous maintenance and inspection protocols; and a strategic moisture management plan to limit potential airborne pathogens.
  • Cleaning & Sanitation Procedures – including strategies to limit high-touch surface contact, rigorous cleaning procedures, enhanced employee training and handwashing protocols, and detailed documentation procedures.
  • Emergency Preparedness Programs – risk assessment, resources, education, enhanced training, strategic emergency response protocols and procedures for re-entry focused on heightened sanitization procedures, employee training and communications, and continuous health and safety protocol evaluations.
  • Health Service Resources – robust employee health & safety plans including access to essential health services, screenings, and assessments, employee vaccination programs and annual season flu prevention campaigns, and access to mental health services.
  • Stakeholder Engagement & Communication – a multi-modal program to promote health literacy and emergency preparedness through ongoing communications, health-centered educational materials, and stringent food-service inspection protocols.

To learn more about the WELL Health-Safety Rating, visit www.wellcertified.com/health-safety.

About BB&T Center

Home to the Florida Panthers Hockey Club and leading international concerts and events, the Broward County-owned BB&T Center is one of the top ranked venues of its kind in the world, servicing Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties. For the latest info about upcoming events, visit www.thebbtcenter.com and follow BB&T Center on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About the International WELL Building Institute

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings, communities and organizations in ways that help people thrive. The WELL v2 pilot is the latest version of its popular WELL Building Standard (WELL), and the WELL Community Standard pilot is a district scale rating system that sets a new global benchmark for healthy communities. WELL is focused exclusively on the ways that buildings and communities, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. IWBI mobilizes the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellness everywhere. IWBI is a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative, and helps companies advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the use of WELL. More information on WELL can be found here.


By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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4 Responses to Florida Panthers’ BB&T Center Becomes First NHL Arena to Achieve WELL Health-Safety Rating For Fighting COVID-19

  1. Scottlew73 says:

    The real reason they’ve been successful….the arena’s been 1/2 empty for last 5 years has nothing to do with safety,more to do with bad management & bad team on ice!

  2. Scottlew73 says:

    No fans = no chance of contamination!!

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