Chase Center’s Senior Director of Health and Hygiene, Jackie Ventura, was named this year’s Stadium Business Unsung Hero of the Year at the Stadium Business Summit in London yesterday evening. The award honors an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis within a particular stadium, arena or major sports venue.
Ventura played an instrumental role in leading and educating the Warriors’ front office through the COVID-19 pandemic, which involved the eventual return of basketball operations staff and fans at Chase Center during the 2020-21 NBA season. Her work was crucial to ensuring Chase Center was the safest indoor environment in the U.S.
Prior to joining the Warriors and Chase Center, Ventura spent 18 years at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami and guided the Miami Heat organization through various public health crises’, including the Zika virus, H1N1 and SARS. Given her uniquely suited background, she was promoted to Director of Health and Hygiene for Chase Center, the first position of its kind for any NBA team. In this role, she was responsible for developing and submitting detailed plans to San Francisco health officials for the Warriors’ Fall 2020 mini-camp and the eventual return of fans to Chase Center, which included an unprecedented plan in professional sports to facilitate at-home PCR testing for ticket buyers. Additionally, Ventura oversaw the creation of Chase Center’s onsite COVID-19 testing facility for all individuals entering the arena last season.
The Warriors and Chase Center were also named a finalist for the Stadium Business Awards in the following categories:
- Executive of the Year – Joe Lacob
- Fan Experience Award – Warriors’ Dub Hub
- Venue of the Year
- Venue Technology