The push for sporting venues as polling spots has a clear rationale: because of their physical setups—large footprints, multiple entrances, plenty of space for social distancing—arenas are a natural spot to ensure the safety of both voters and election workers while also protecting everyone’s right to vote. There are already many venues across the country set to host elections–here’s a story about the many arenas already committed to the movement–and we expect many more to be added between now and November. Two separate groups, More than a Vote and the Election Super Centers Project, have been spearheading the initiative. LeBron James and David Price are involved with the Dodger Stadium initiative; Doc Rivers and John Legend have been working to bring the vote to The Forum.
The Dodgers are the first team in Major League Baseball to make their ballpark available for voting, following all CDC and Public Health guidelines regarding social distancing.
“Dodger Stadium is part of the fabric of Los Angeles, and we’re proud to continue to partner with the County to make the property available for the benefit of the community at large,” said Dodger President & CEO Stan Kasten. “Voting is all of our civic duty, and we’re excited to work with More than a Vote to do anything we can to help get out the vote by making this process as easy, accessible and safe for all Angelenos.”
The Dodger Stadium voting site is a joint effort between the Dodgers and More Than A Vote, a non-profit coalition of Black athletes and artists working together to educate, energize and protect young communities of color by fighting the lies and systemic, racist voter suppression that stands in the way of Black voices being heard.
“I may still be new to LA but didn’t take long for me to learn how special the relationship is between the Dodgers and Lakers. We are all in this together,” said LeBron James, who helped create More Than A Vote. “I’m really proud we were able to help the Dodgers become the first MLB stadium to open for voting. This is exactly why we created More Than a Vote. A lot of us now working together and here for every team who wants to follow the Dodgers lead and turn their stadium into a safer place for voting.”
While Dodger Stadium has been closed to the general public for most of 2020, the stadium and surrounding property have hosted many civic and communal installations, including the County’s largest Covid-19 testing site and Los Angeles Unified School District’s virtual graduation while also serving as a staging ground for emergency equipment and a food distribution site for those experiencing food insecurity.