Twenty-plus NBA groups and half of the NFL’s 32 franchises supplied a spot for folks to vote or assisted with the method in different methods. In the meantime, many Main League Baseball and NHL groups additionally put their stadiums and arenas in play on Election Day.

“This can be a shining second to have sports activities groups everywhere in the nation making a dedication to assist folks vote as a result of that’s a very powerful non-violent device in our democracy,” Pistons Vice Chairman Arn Tellem mentioned after he and Detroit coach Dwane Casey watched Benson put her poll in a drop field steps from the doorway to the group’s coaching facility. “Sports activities groups deliver folks collectively from all backgrounds and at their greatest, encourage us and encourage us to unite.”

Earlier than returning to Sacramento, California, on Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Gavin Newsom greeted and thanked ballot employees on the Golden State Warriors’ facility in downtown Oakland.

“Three issues on the earth that actually deliver folks collectively — music, meals and sports activities,” Warriors guard Damion Lee mentioned after beating Newsom in a “PIG” taking pictures recreation. “For us to make use of our platform, for the Warriors to open up their facility — that’s the true sense of democracy.”

For voters throughout the nation, opening the arenas and stadiums gave them another choice for casting their ballots — a faster one at instances. It additionally afforded a possibility to enter some venues which were relegated to internet hosting fan-free video games in the course of the pandemic, if they’ve been occupied in any respect for the reason that spring.

“It’s an important concept,” John Schmit mentioned outdoors Chicago’s United Middle. “I’m a Blackhawks fan. I haven’t been right here in six months.”

Outdoors Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, residence of the NBA’s Cavaliers, the road to vote wrapped across the constructing’s glass exterior early Tuesday. By late morning, the tempo had slowed significantly, however there was a gentle stream of voters moving into stalls inside the world’s massive atriums to fill out ballots.

The constructing hasn’t hosted any video games or live shows since mid-March because of the pandemic.

“It was good to return right here and see that it’s really getting used for one thing that’s worthwhile,” Cleveland resident Ian Crawford, sporting an Indians cap, mentioned after he exited the world.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, whose district consists of components of Detroit, not too long ago mentioned it’s applicable for taxpayer-funded sports activities amenities to play a component within the election course of.

Nevertheless it didn’t go off with no hitch.

On the residence of the Atlanta Hawks, a pipe burst early Tuesday morning in a room the place absentee ballots have been being counted. That brought on processing to cease for about 4 hours at State Farm Enviornment.

In Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, Chiefs coach Andy Reid voted in the identical stadium the place he leads the defending Tremendous Bowl champions after they host video games. Reid was amongst a couple of dozen folks ready in line to vote early Tuesday morning, shortly after the polls opened.

“I believe it’s neat that they have been capable of do it proper right here on the stadium,” Reid mentioned. “There have been lots of issues that needed to go proper to get that completed. Loads of it needed to do with the gamers, to start with having a plan, second of all presenting it to administration and possession after which these folks in possession and administration supporting it.”

Former WNBA star Tamika Catchings arrived at Bankers’ Life Fieldhouse, residence of the Indiana Pacers and Fever, earlier than dawn Tuesday. The Fever’s basic supervisor was energized by seeing so many individuals come out to vote for the primary time.

“I believe it’s a motion,” she mentioned.

Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith and ahead Admiral Schofield, coach Scott Brooks and basic supervisor Tommy Sheppard, together with Mystics ahead Tianna Hawkins, greeted voters outdoors Capital One Enviornment.

“To have the ability to create change within the constructing we work arduous in is nice to see,” Schofield mentioned. “We don’t simply need to encourage voting for this yr; we need to encourage voting for years to return.”


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AP Sports activities Writers Janie McCauley in Oakland, Andrew Seligman in Chicago, Tom Withers in Cleveland, Dave Skretta in Kansas Metropolis, Doug Feinberg in New York, Howard Fendrich in Washington and Related Press author Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed.

Larry Lage, The Related Press

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