Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will open as a polling station for the upcoming US presidential election following a partnership between the Major League Baseball team and NBA basketball star LeBron James.
The team has partnered with James, Dodgers pitcher David Price and national coalition More Than A Vote to encourage voter turnout for the November election.
James, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, helped set up More Than A Vote, a non-profit voting-rights coalition of black athletes and artists that is seeking to fight systemic voter suppression. Price is also part of the group.
Dodger Stadium will be accessible with free parking to any registered voter in Los Angeles County over a five-day period, with operational details to be announced at a later date. Dodger Stadium will become the first MLB venue to open as a polling station for this year’s election, which will take place on November 3.
Dodgers president and chief executive Stan Kasten said: “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.
“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.”
James added: “I may still be new to LA but it didn’t take long for me to learn how special the relationship is between the Dodgers and Lakers. We are all in this together.
“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 (are) working together and here for every team who wants to follow the Dodgers’ lead and turn their stadium into a safer place for voting.”
It remains to be seen whether the inside or outside of the stadium will be used for ballot stations, but social distancing guidelines will be in place at all times.
While the MLB season was suspended due to COVID-19, Dodger Stadium was used as a testing site and hosted Los Angeles Unified School District’s virtual graduation. The stadium also served as a staging ground for emergency equipment and a food distribution site.
Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Wizards NBA team and the Washington Capitals NHL franchise, is also set to open as a polling station for the election. The Atlanta Hawks NBA team has also made its State Farm Arena home available for polls, including the presidential election.
Image: Discover Los Angeles