With the majority of America’s competition cathedrals — arenas, stadiums, and fields — now eerily silent, sports facilities in metropolitan areas across the U.S. are taking on another purpose this fall, as stadium voting sites providing ample space to vote as safely as possible.
“I want to get between 50 and 100 arenas open across the country,” Election Super Centers Project co-chair Eugene Jarecki told NBC. “I think each one of them can process about 40,000 people. So do the math on how huge that could be.”
The project’s website highlights the arena and stadium voting sites’ main benefits: their ability to “provide easy access, reduced lines, and room for social-distancing while voting.”
Not all stadiums are serving only as voting sites; the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field will instead host 8 of Detroit’s 12 receiving boards, where ballots and results are checked to be on the up-and-up, the Free Press reports.
With cavernous spaces and parking lots like shimmering black seas, professional and collegiate sports facilities — many with the added benefit of being open air — are uniquely suited to serving as safer-than-an-elementary-school polling places.
Also unique? The potential of arena and stadium voting sites, hosted by institutions often beloved by their fans, to perhaps encourage engagement and even trust in the voting system.
“The potential for this kind of creativity is very high,” Jonathan Metzl, the director of Vanderbilt’s Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, told ESPN. “People already trust brands like sports teams — they have identity connections with them. That makes them trusted messengers in a way.”
Below is a list of the teams confirmed to be hosting arena and stadium voting sites thus far, per ESPN and the Election Super Centers Project; each one has their own considerations, limitations, and protocols, so be sure to check the rulebook at the location you plan to use.
Atlanta Falcons; Carolina Panthers; Green Bay Packers; Houston Texans; Indianapolis Colts; Kansas City Chiefs; Los Angeles Chargers/Rams; San Francisco 49ers; Seattle Seahawks; Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Washington Football Team
Baltimore Orioles; Boston Red Sox; Los Angeles Dodgers; Washington Nationals
Atlanta Hawks; Brooklyn Nets; Charlotte Hornets; Cleveland Cavaliers; Dallas Mavericks; Detroit Pistons; Houston Rockets; Golden State Warriors; Indiana Pacers; Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers; New York Knicks; Oklahoma City Thunder; Orlando Magic; Philadelphia 76ers; Phoenix Suns; Sacramento Kings; San Antonio Spurs; Utah Jazz; Washington Wizards (go NBA!)
Washington Mystics (other teams from the league share stadiums with the NBA)
Arizona Wildcats; Arkansas Razorbacks; Florida A&M Rattlers; Florida State Seminoles; Georgia Tech Yellowjackets; Indiana Hoosiers (listed as Bloomington); Wichita State Shockers; Louisville Cardinals; Morgan State Bears; Maryland Terrapins; Missouri Tigers; Houston Cougars; Wisconsin Badgers
Los Angeles Kings; New Jersey Devils; New York Rangers; Tampa Bay Lightning; Washington Capitals
Los Angeles FC; Seattle Sounders