Daryl Kerry, Chief Executive Officer, VenuesLive

It’s hard to believe that only weeks ago we hosted capacity crowds for concerts at Bankwest Stadium, Optus Stadium and ANZ Stadium, and our catering teams were in full flight for events at Sydney Motorsport Park, Sydney Olympic Park and Wollongong.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the world, our lives have changed so quickly, and our business has had to adapt to these changing and uncertain times.

Today, our three major stadiums are all closed to spectators and for meetings, special events and public tours until further notice.

Our catering operations at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, WIN Sports & Entertainment Centres, Sydney Motorsport Park and Sydney Olympic Park (Sports) Venues have also been suspended.

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Optus Stadium is lit green (international colour of health) as a thank you to our health workers.

Facilities within Optus Stadium have been converted into an emergency headquarters for WA Police as the State co-ordinates its response to the COVID-19 pandemic – further emphasising the broad role our venues play in the community.

These changes to our normal operation are obviously having a significant impact on our event and venue management business, and in that we are just like every other business around the world.

Our VenuesLive team is very much a family and I want to assure you that senior management in both NSW and WA has done everything in our power to ensure that our valued staff – our people – are looked after as well as possible.

However, as a company, VenuesLive has already had to make some tough decisions. The steps we are taking now are aimed at ensuring there are jobs and opportunities for our people once business returns to normal.

Our company will seek to access various government support initiatives and will use accrued leave balances to ensure as many of our valued permanent and casual staff are retained for the period we are out of action, with the expectation we can bounce back quickly as soon as events start to roll out again.

We are looking at ways our staff and our venues can be utilised to help the respective state governments during this challenging period, which includes some of our permanent VLWA staff been seconded to the WA Department of Health to assist with various programs.

We will provide a further update on our Business Continuity Plan in staff emails or briefings in coming days.

The Human Resources teams will work closely with our General Managers on the utilisation of leave balances and other strategies for permanent staff. If you are needing clarity on our plans to negotiate this difficult period, please discuss with your General Manager.

We know our company isn’t alone. Millions of people, families and organisations right around the world are in similar situations.

We also know that the events that we stage in our venues, whether that be footy, cricket or other entertainment, can create special memories for people and make life a joy . . . so they will have an important role to play going forward once life returns to a new normal.

And whilst we know so many of you are dealing with your own personal and professional challenges right now, we are committed to keeping you connected and will provide regular updates as we navigate whatever the coming weeks and months may hold.

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our ICT teams in getting so many of our staff set up to work from home so effectively. The feedback from our Leadership Teams is that staff are adjusting well to their new working environments.

I can’t stress how important it is that each and every one of us follows the guidelines established in our respective communities in relation to the COVID-19 public health crisis. We need to be part of the solution and do our part for the greater good. We also want you to stay healthy.

Again, you can be sure we do appreciate that this is a difficult time for you, your families and our community, so please look after yourself and those around you.

It’s going to be a special day when we get through this and can get back to doing what we love.

Kind regards,

Daryl.