Less than a week after officially opening its doors, Fortress Melbourne will be closing down “to protect the health of our team and patrons”.
The threat of the coronavirus was already paramount when the venue’s doors opened last Friday, and the increased shut down of businesses, events and other incidents forcing people to move into self-isolation has forced Fortress Melbourne to temporarily close. “To date, there have been no confirmed cases within the Fortress team or patrons,” the co-founders of Fortress, Adrian Giles and Jon Satterley, said in a statement.
The company will be placing any payments on hold for users who have already bought a membership, and Fortress will continue operating on social media and through their website until normal business can resume.
One thing we’re blown away with is the support and excitement of the people of Melbourne who visited us across the weekend – we’ve all been so moved. I’m grateful we still got to launch when we did and prove ourselves (despite COVID hampering our built and setup).
— Shadowfax ???? (@Shadowfax) March 17, 2020
Their statement can be read in full below.
Due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Fortress Melbourne has decided to close to the public from Wednesday 18th March.
In the current climate, we believe this is the socially responsible action to take to protect the health of our team and patrons. While we have implemented several social distancing strategies and reinforced our cleaning efforts and hygiene protocols, the state of the global situation goes directly against our mission to bring live social gameplay to Australia.
To date, there have been no confirmed cases within the Fortress team or patrons. However, we are taking this precautionary measure in the best interests of the community.
We have been overwhelmed by the support and excitement Melbourne has shown us since we’ve opened. We cannot wait to reopen our doors once we’ve all made it safely through this challenging time.
For those who have supported us in purchasing memberships, we will be placing payments on hold, and you will not be charged until we reopen.
While we won’t be physically open, we hope to continue engaging with you all through our website and social platforms. Many of us will be looking for ways to stay connected with our friends and family, and Fortress will be looking for ways that we can use our technology to help bring people together.
It is important to follow information from the Australian Health Officials. If you are unwell or display any flu-like symptoms, it is imperative that you remain at home especially if you have a temperature, or any signs of a respiratory tract infection (including a sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath).
We thank you for your understanding and ongoing support.
Jon Satterley and Adrian Giles (Co-Founders of Fortress Australia)
[referenced url=”https://www.kotaku.com.au/2020/03/fortress-melbourne-everything-about-it-seems-insane/” thumb=”https://www.kotaku.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2020/03/fortress-melbourne-arena-australia-9-410×231.jpg” title=”Everything About Fortress Melbourne Seems Insane” excerpt=”2,700 square metres of real estate in Melbourne’s CBD. Inside is a themed restaurant and bar for a few hundred people. Two dedicated PC gaming areas are connected, with arcade machines and a 200-seater esports grandstand. Attached to that is a second bar, full broadcast studio and an esports commentary pit. There’s even a merch store.”]