Inside the Sidekicks COVID-19 Bubble

by Paul Donaghy

Paul Donaghy

(ALLEN, TEXAS: February 28, 2021) – The Dallas Sidekicks helped set the standards for the MASL with their COVID-19 protocols put in place before their first Central Cup game on December 12, 2020. The team worked diligently with the City of Allen and the Allen Event Center to keep fans safe with a number of new protocols put into place but also wanted to make sure that players can play without fearing of contracting COVID. So what exactly is the Dallas Sidekicks "Bubble" and how does it work?

The team built out a multi-tiered layer of personnel for each game. Level 1 personnel are COVID-tested and must test negative before entering the bubble. Once a person test negative they go through a different entrance into the Allen Event Center than all other personnel. This area is blocked off and includes home and visiting locker rooms, dancer locker room, referee locker room, and entrance into the field from behind the net. Four seating sections behind the net entrance are also reserved for personnel who have been tested. This entire area is the Sidekicks "bubble" on game days.

Around 100 people are tested for COVID-19 on game days including players from both teams, dancers, referees, front office personnel, and game day personnel (including the game day host, sideline report, PA announcer, statisticians, interns, etc.). The national anthem singer and honorary first kicks are also tested, along with any of their guests. It is a major production, but how does the team pull off all these tests and results?

Besides a very detailed testing timeline, the team's testing partner Inspect-IR Systems is critical to making everything run smoothly. The Sidekicks needed a partner who could run many tests in a few hours getting quick and accurate results. This required a unique solution and Inspect-IR provided one. With their proprietary breath analyzer that uses mass spectrometry all personnel are able to be tested and get results back in about three minutes. The process they used can be seen below.  

Nobody can enter into the bubble at the Allen Event Center unless they have a negative test result. Outside of game day the Dallas Sidekicks also test each player, coach and anyone who will attend a practice each Monday before the first practice of the week.

Inspect-IR COO John Redmond states, “Accuracy has been an issue with COVID-19 testing since the beginning of the crisis. Our device is specifically designed for trace detection in the high part-per-trillion. We believe it will provide the most accurate results on the market. There are few viable non-invasive detection tools available today.”

For more information on how Inspect-IR runs a COVID-19 test please watch the following video:


The Dallas Sidekicks is an American professional indoor soccer team of the Major Arena Soccer League. The organization was established in 1983, is headquartered in Allen, Texas, and plays all home games at the Allen Event Center. Follow the Sidekicks at and on their social media.
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