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San Antonio Spurs the first NBA Team to use robots to disinfect arena

by Marco van der Hoeven

The 2020-2021 NBA season is underway and the San Antonio Spurs have added powerful new teammates with extraordinary germ-zapping capabilities. As part of its comprehensive strategy to minimize risk for fans, arena employees, team personnel and players from exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), the Spurs purchased LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots to disinfect rooms and areas within the AT&T Center.

Manufactured by San Antonio-based Xenex Disinfection Services, LightStrike robots use pulsed xenon to create intense bursts of broad spectrum UV light that quickly destroys viruses and bacteria on surfaces. The intense UV light produced by a LightStrike robot does four types of cellular damage to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, rendering it unable to mutate or reproduce.

LightStrike robots work quickly (2-minute cycles) and require no warm-up or cool-down time, which enables the Spurs to disinfect dozens of rooms per day (per robot). The robots are already in heavy rotation throughout the AT&T Center – disinfecting meeting rooms, locker rooms, rehabilitation areas, suites, restrooms, offices, concession areas, elevators, and much more.

Cleanest, safest arena

“Our goal is to have the AT&T Center be the cleanest, safest arena in the NBA and the LightStrike robot is an invaluable tool in helping us achieve this distinction,” said Casey Heverling, Vice President and General Manager of the AT&T Center. “We spent a lot of time reviewing hundreds of different technologies, and, when we came across the LightStrike robot and the UV technology it deploys, we knew we had to have that here because of its effectiveness in killing the coronavirus and creating the safest, cleanest environment possible.”

University researchers and healthcare facilities (including the Mayo Clinic and MD Anderson Cancer Center) have published more than 40 peer-reviewed studies validating the efficacy of the LightStrike robot technology, which is proven to deactivate Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute reported that the LightStrike robot achieved a 99.99% level of disinfection on surfaces against SARS-CoV-2 in two minutes.


As a result of the pandemic and the world’s focus on combating coronavirus and other pathogens, non-healthcare entities such as schools, hotels, airports, police stations and correctional facilities, office buildings–and now the San Antonio Spurs–are utilizing LightStrike robots to quickly disinfect surfaces in their facilities. The NFL Carolina Panthers were the first professional sports team to deploy LightStrike robots as part of their re-opening strategy.

Irene Hahn, senior vice president of global sales and marketing for Xenex, said, “Being chosen to be part of the San Antonio Spurs’ disinfection strategy is a significant honor for Xenex for many reasons, but especially because it’s our hometown team and we love our Spurs. It’s exciting to know that our robots are in use at the AT&T Center, helping provide players, personnel and fans with the cleanest possible arena.”

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