Sports arenas

Nearly 300,000 Americans voted in sports arenas in 2020 election

Top line

More than 298,000 people voted in professional sports stadiums and arenas in the 2020 general election, according to voter turnout data compiled by USA TODAY, highlighting how important these sites were in a presidential election that was ruled by very fine margins in certain oscillating states.


A total of 40 arenas and professional stadiums in 29 different counties across the country were used as voting locations in 2020.

This total of 298,000 does not even include New York City (which had polling stations set up inside Madison Square Garden in Manhattan and Barclays Center in Brooklyn) as New York election officials did not provide. of data.

In the city of Atlanta, nearly 40,000 Fulton County residents voted in the Hawks arena in early voting in Georgia (a state Joe Biden won by less than 15,000 votes).

U.S. Election Assistance Commission chairman Benjamin Hovland told USA TODAY that the availability of sports venues “solved major problems for election officials” and “absolutely made a difference” in helping elections to run smoothly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Key context:

In late August, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, NBA players refused to play several playoff games. After superstars LeBron James and Chris Paul asked former President Barack Obama for advice, league players demanded concrete action to tackle systemic racism in the United States in order to get back on the pitch and finish the playoffs. NBA owners eventually agreed to work with local election officials to convert the team-owned facilities into voting locations for the 2020 general election. Additionally, the league said it will work with the players. and its network partners to create and include commercials in each playoff game “dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness of voter access and opportunities”. According to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, twice as many people voted at the United Center (home of the Chicago Bulls) than any other universal voting site or venue. More than 30,000 people voted at American Airlines Center in Dallas (home of the Mavericks) and Smoothie King Arena in New Orleans (home of the Pelicans), according to USA Today.


The More Than a Vote Coalition, a voting rights organization led by LeBron James, helped recruit 40,000 election officers and register Florida voters with criminal records.

Crucial quote:

“Professional sports sites and their corresponding franchises played an important role in the general election,” wrote Los Angeles County Clerk Dean Logan. “Not only by serving as a voting center, but as a community partner in civic engagement and empowerment.”

Large number :

77,976,683. That’s the number of votes that have been counted for Joe Biden so far, the most ever cast for a presidential candidate in US history.

Further reading:

How Sports Arenas Scored in 2020 Election, Welcoming Hundreds of Thousands of Voters (USA TODAY)

The NBA and the 2020 elections: here are the arenas that will serve as voting sites (Forbes)

Comprehensive coverage and live updates on the coronavirus

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