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More sports stadiums set to be used as COVID-19 vaccination sites

Mass vaccinations: How stadiums host a COVID defensive play
Mass vaccinations: How stadiums host a COVID defensive play 05:47

Every NFL stadium in the U.S. can become a COVID-19 vaccination site, according to the football league's top official. 

The stadiums can be quickly retrofitted for vaccines because the buildings had been used for coronavirus testing, commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter Friday to President Joe Biden. Some stadiums have already been transformed into vaccination sites in recent weeks, Goodell said, including the home facilities for the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons and other teams.

"Our efforts will not stop there," Goodell said in the letter. "The NFL and our 32 member clubs are committed to doing our part to ensure that vaccines are as widely accessible in our communities as possible."

Mr. Biden will take Goodell up on his offer, the president said in an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell. Asked if he would use the NFL stadiums as vaccination sites, Mr. Biden said, "Absolutely we will." 

"And, I mean, let me put it this way — I tell my team they're available and I believe we'll use them," the president continued. "Look, it was one thing if we had enough vaccines, which we didn't. So we're pushing as hard as we can to get more vaccines manufactured."

The NFL's commitment to pitch in to the vaccination effort could boost many of the states that have struggled to ramp up the number of people getting shots amid bottlenecks in vaccine and logistical hurdles. 

NFL players and team staff have received COVID-19 testing at stadiums and practice facilities. But for many teams, opening the stadium to vaccinations would mark the first time the public has been around in months.

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Converting an "iconic landmark"

Football isn't the only sport using its facilities for vaccines — MLB is getting in on the act as well. Yankee Stadium in New York City is one of eight baseball stadiums now serving as a vaccination center in the weeks before the official start of the 2021 season.

Public health officials will be administering vaccines at Yankee Stadium by appointment only from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week to residents of the Bronx. The borough is home to more than 1.4 million people, about a third of them born outside the United States.

"The Bronx's most iconic landmark is the perfect solution to helping this borough get vaccinated and defeat COVID once and for all," New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said last week. The Bronx has the highest rate of positive coronavirus tests of the city's five boroughs.

New York's Yankee Stadium Hosts Major Coronavirus Vaccination Site
People wait in line to enter the coronavirus vaccination site at Yankee Stadium on February 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York City.  Michael M Santiago / Getty Images

NBA and NHL stadiums have not been turned into vaccination centers as teams from both sports are in full swing of their 2020-21 seasons.

Here is a list of sports franchises that have already opened their doors and now allow public health officials to use their facilities to administer doses.

  • Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins in Florida
  • Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots in Massachusetts
  • State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals
  • Texas Motor Speedway, home of NASACAR and IndyCar races
  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons in Georgia
  • M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens in Maryland
  • Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers in North Carolina
  • NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans 
  • The Big House, University of Michigan's football stadium
  • Broadbent Arena, former hockey stadium in Kentucky
  • Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox in Massachusetts
  • Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees
  • Levi Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers in California
  • Marlins Park, home of the Miami Marlins in Florida
  • Citi Field, home of the New York Mets
  • Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres in California
  • Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers in California
  • Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros in Texas
  • Oakland Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics in California
  • PNC Arena, the home of the Carolina Hurricanes in North Carolina
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