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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Live Nation looks to convert empty venues into polling places, could include Detroit spots

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 11:03 AM

  • Screen grab/GoogleMaps

Six months after Live Nation announced it would suspend all touring concerts in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the world's largest live music organization revealed its plans to convert empty venues into polling sites for the upcoming election on Nov. 3.

As part of a package of election and voting initiatives, which includes providing the company's active employees with a full day of paid time off to work the polls, Live Nation is working alongside local officials to explore, vet, and repurpose more than 100 venues throughout the country to serve as additional polling sites, many of which are large enough to help voters maintain social distancing during in-person voting, The Detroit Free Press reports.

Several sites have been confirmed, according to a press release, including Los Angeles-based spaces the Wiltern and Hollywood Palladium, Atlanta's Buckhead Theatre, Emo's in Austin, and the Fillmore in Philadelphia. Live Nation operates two Detroit venues, the Fillmore and St. Andrew's Hall, both of which could be included in Live Nation's ongoing voting initiative negotiations.

To garner more support, Live Nation has partnered with a number of voting organizations up with More Than A Vote, an organization of Black athletes and entertainers led by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James that aims to combat voter suppression within communities of color by recruiting poll workers for those areas.

“By converting their concert venues into voting locations, Live Nation is creating a safe and convenient way for people to exercise their right to vote this fall,” Michael Tyler, EVP of Public Affairs More Than A Vote shared in a press release.

“Similar to the sports arenas More Than A Vote has worked to convert into voting locations, many of Live Nation’s venues are located in the heart of the communities that we are committed to empowering in this election and offer the same COVID protections due to their large capacity.”

The organization has also enlisted 20 national sports arenas and facilities to participate in a similar polling place conversion, including the Detroit Pistons' training space, the Henry Ford Performance Center, and Little Ceasers Arena, which will be used for election worker training. Ford Field, which is home to the Detroit Lions, will serve as a ballot collection center, as well as a storage facility for election equipment.

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