Vaccination sites popping up at stadiums across the country

A first responder gets a Covid vaccination shot at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Screenshot from Boston Globe video

While fans are still not allowed to attend events at most stadiums in the U.S., sports venues across the country are now being pressed into service as mass vaccination sites in the latest step in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

From Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL’s New England Patriots, to Dodger Stadium and Disneyland in Southern California, the wide-open indoor spaces and easy drive-up and parking lots found at most large public venues are now being used as staging grounds for initial deployments of the vaccines being used to fight the spread of the pandemic.

According to various reports, vaccination sites at stadiums are ramping up with plans to innoculate thousands per day. State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, expects to soon be administering more than 6,000 shots per day, according to an NPR report. According to a report in USA Today, Houston’s Minute Maid Park saw 4,000 vaccinations last weekend.

Other well-known venues also looking to ramp up vaccination sites or already providing such services include PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Petco Park in San Diego and the Oakland Coliseum. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that Citi Field — home of the New York Mets — will soon be able to vaccinate between 5,000 and 7,000 residents per day.

Already during the pandemic, sports venues across the country have used their unique characteristics — easy access and wide-open covered spaces with the ability to host large numbers of people with social distancing — to act as temporary Covid-19 test centers or overflow hospitals, and also as voting registration and voting sites. Those same characteristics, plus the availability of power, running water and other amenities, also makes them perfect sites for pop-up vaccination centers, which will be necessary as the country tries to get as many people vaccinated as possible in the shortest amount of time.

Ribbon boards at Gillette Stadium tout the vaccination services. Credit: Boston Globe video screenshot

MSR Launches First ‘e-Report,’ an In-Depth Look at ‘The Connected Event Dilemma’

It’s no secret to any cell phone user that finding a good signal at a big sporting event is sometimes a challenge. But what exactly are the reasons behind why it’s hard to bring wireless access to crowded places? And what are the business opportunities for stadium and event operators, application developers and sports marketers once high-quality wireless is installed?

The answers to those questions and more can be found in The Connected Event Dilemma, the first in-depth “e-report” from Mobile Sports Report. Available as a free download thanks to a sponsorship from Wi-Fi gear vendor Xirrus Inc., our completely objective report (meaning, the sponsor did not control our research or reporting) looks at the dilemma faced by many operators of big events that draw lots of connected attendees — how do you best bring Internet access to the crowd, and what are the benefits of doing so?

In a nutshell, the report explains why traditional cellular infrastructures can’t handle the current and expected future demands of the connected fan, and why high quality Wi-Fi is needed to keep up with the rapid advancements in personal digital device technology, and fans’ desires to stay connected and to share experiences while at large public events. But there’s lots more in the 11 pages of editorial goodness, including explanations about:

– How fan behavior has recently shifted to include heavy use of wireless devices while at big events or games
– Why the current regular cellular infrastructure can’t keep up with big-event demands
– What leading teams and stadium organizations are doing to address their wireless Internet access needs, now
– How you and your organization can start crafting a plan to ensure your stadium, event or other large public space isn’t left behind

This report is designed for readers who may be part of a stadium or event ownership group, or developers, investors and entrepreneurs looking to break into the rapidly growing space of stadium- and event-focused apps. It is also a great primer for sports marketers who need to get quickly up to speed on the “connected event” trend. And the great thing is — it’s free to you for just filling out a quick contact form.

We should have a version available for Kindles fairly soon, but you can download the PDF today. Please do so and let us know what you find interesting or missing from the first of what we hope is many long-form reports.