Biden plans to take up NFL’s offer to use stadiums as mass vaccination sites


A worker cleans seats in Arrowhead Stadium before an NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

TAMPA — President Joe Biden says his administration intends to take up the NFL on its offer to use all of the league’s stadiums as COVID-19 vaccination sites.

Biden mentioned the offer that came from Commissioner Roger Goodell in a letter this past week during an interview before Super Bowl LV.

Goodell said many of the stadiums should be able to get vaccination efforts moving quickly because of previous offers to use stadiums as virus testing centers and election sites.

Seven NFL stadiums are already being used as vaccination sites: Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Houston, Miami and New England. Goodell’s offer extends to the rest of them.

Biden says “absolutely we will” when asked if the federal government intended to use all the stadiums to try to ramp up distribution of vaccines.

“I’m going to tell my team they’re available, and I believe we’ll use them,” Biden said Sunday.

Biden took office last month with a goal of vaccinating 100 million people in the first 100 days of his administration.

Kansas City Chiefs President Mark Donovan said last week the team is already in negotiations to make Arrowhead Stadium a mass COVID-19 vaccination site.

He said there have been ongoing discussions between the Chiefs organization and city, county and state health officials for about six weeks now, and they hope they can make it happen.

“There are a lot of pieces to that puzzle, and we’ve been in discussion with all the pieces. In every discussion we’ve been very proactive and say, ‘We’re here. We’re ready. Let’s be prepared to take advantage of it when we can,’” Donovan told reporters Tuesday.

He acknowledged that it would take a lot of logistical support from health officials to make it happen. Still, Donovan made it clear the Chiefs are up for the challenge and are ready to help.

“We stand ready,” he said.

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