The Broadway League is joining other live events organizations in offering theaters and staff to aid in vaccination efforts.
In a letter to President Joe Biden, the League and live events groups offered venues as vaccination sites, as well as workers and ticket management systems to make the process more efficient. The letter emphasizes the thousands of live entertainment venues across the country that are currently going unused, as well as the capabilities of an industry that is used to handling large crowds.
“While we have been effectively shuttered by the pandemic, we have vast resources that, if fully utilized, could provide invaluable mechanisms in our country’s vaccine distribution. In fact because we are shuttered, we are able to offer the full weight of our industry to support vaccine distribution beginning immediately,” the letter reads.
Other signatories include Live Nation, the International Association of Venue Managers, the Anschutz Entertainment Group, the National Independent Venue Association and IATSE, which penned its own letter Monday offering union members to help set up vaccination centers.
A spokesperson for the League confirmed to Broadway News that the group is working with theater owners, who are also League members, to offer theaters.
In addition to offering theaters, the letter suggests using existing ticketing systems, which allow for advance notification and timed entry to manage crowds and utilizing a workforce that has been out of the job since March 2020.
“Live events is one of the best prepared, best equipped, most experienced industries in America to manage and control large crowds in a rapid, organized fashion,” the letter reads.
The offer comes after President Biden unveiled his plan for controlling the pandemic, which included a call to convert venues into vaccination centers. In New York, the Javits Center has already been turned into a vaccination center.
However, plans to create more vaccination centers in New York have been upended by a lack of vaccine supply. Yankee Stadium and Citi Field were announced as vaccination centers, but those plans have been paused until the state receives higher weekly allocations.