Baltimore Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium and Seville’s two LaLiga arenas are the latest major venues to become mass vaccination centres amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andalusian Health Service (SAS) officials will today (Monday) visit Sevilla’s 44,000-capacity Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium to assess its viability and approve plans for a facility that could offer 26,000 vaccinations per day. The club said it offered the venue to SAS some months ago.
It has also been reported that SAS officials will today visit Real Betis’ 60,000-capacity Benito Villamarín Stadium with a view to a similar number of vaccinations being administered there each day.
Last week, the Generalitat de Catalunya confirmed it is in talks with FC Barcelona with a view to the Spanish LaLiga football club’s Camp Nou hosting a COVID-19 vaccination centre.
Meanwhile, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has confirmed that the Baltimore Ravens’ 71,000-capacity, 1.6m square foot NFL stadium in Baltimore City will open as a vaccination centre on Thursday, February 25.
Following the end of the NFL season, M&T Bank Stadium will join Baltimore Convention Center and the Six Flags America theme park as mass vaccinations centres in the state, with those two last week serving more than 15,000 Marylanders in their first week of operations.
However, M&T Bank Stadium’s effectiveness could be impacted by concerns over a lack of vaccines made available so far by the federal government.
“We simply cannot schedule appointments for vaccines that we do not yet know that we will receive,” Governor Hogan said.
The NFL American football league earlier this month offered the use of its 30 stadiums as COVID-19 vaccination centres following the conclusion of the season.
In a letter to President Biden, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell noted that stadiums are well equipped to serve as vaccination centres after being used successfully as COVID-19 testing sites earlier in the pandemic.
A number of NFL venues are already being used as vaccination centres, with more than 4,000 shots administered at Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium during its first week of operations in early January. The Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium and the Houston Texans’ NRG Stadium are to open as centres later this month.