After much deliberation over the past two weeks, United Wireless Arena and the City of Dodge City announced there will not be a Dodge City Days Kick Off Concert for 2020.


"United Wireless Arena is announcing this decision with a heavy heart," said United Wireless Arena executive director Chris Ragland. "We are aware this is very disappointing for many, as it is for us. But with so many unknowns about COVID-19 and no data currently available regarding its possible effect in mass indoor gathering settings, it is the safer choice to proceed cautiously right now.


"We are committed to do our part to help protect our attendees, our staff and the community at our events and we want to welcome people back as safely as possible, when the time is right."


Across the country, VenuWorks has been in contact with facilities, artists, bands, promoters and talent agencies.


Venues have either postponed events until 2021 or rescheduled until fall and winter 2020.


According to UWA, the arena as well as Boot Hill Casino & Resort Conference Center are seeing a resurgence in the bookings of meetings, trade shows, conventions and smaller sporting events where social distancing guidelines can be handled in a manageable manner.


"We have been busy behind the scenes preparing to reopen again," Ragland said. "There are many changes in regulations on food and beverage safety that our staff are being trained on.


"We are building sneeze-guards for buffets and concession stands, obtaining an electro-static sprayer that can sanitize large areas easily, continuing a thorough cleaning and sanitizing routine and have been doing repairs and improvements throughout the Arena and Conference Center to uphold the high standards that our patrons have come to expect."


With considerations of social distancing and health safety, the conference center reopened on June 15 and the arena is also being utilized as an alternative space for large events, which will allow for more social distancing space between attendees.


To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com