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Miami Heat Offering Up AmericanAirlines Arena To Act As A Safe Polling Site Amid Pandemic

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As part of their pledge for social justice, the Miami Heat have promised to engage the Black community, in part, by supporting voter registration initiatives.

The organization is now offering up the AmericanAirlines Arena to the county to be used as a polling place.

Its size makes it attractive for COVID-19 safety reasons.

"We have the parking. We have the space. We have the access. We have the health protocols. Everything is there. We want to make it happen," said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. "We want the city to work with us to get it done."

The county election office told CBS4 they have been in talks to use the arena for early voting, but not for Election Day on November 3rd.

The Frost Science Museum is also an option because the Adrienne Arsht Center, which is typically the site used downtown for early voting, is going through construction.

The Heat also delivered on a promise to support local businesses and charities.

On Thursday, the team announced a partnership with Black Girls CODE, Health in the Hood and the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

"This will help former felons or disenfranchised people that are trying to re-enter into society that may not have the opportunities for representation or to be able to pay for bail or to have the right to vote," Spoelstra said.

The team's Court Culture T-shirts, which sport phrases condemning racism, will be sold on their team website. The proceeds will go to those three organizations.

"It sends a message to everyone. Everyone sees it. You take pictures you out it on social media so everyone sees what you're wearing, and see everything that you got on," said Derrick Jones Jr.

The elections office told CBS4 they use about 33 different early voting sites to service the 1.5 million registered voters in the county. The goal is to have an early voting site within two to three miles of every voter.

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