Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, gives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to ASU Professor Alexandra Navrotsky, of the School of Molecular Sciences, Monday, January 11, 2021, at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale. Beginning Tuesday, the AzDHS will run a 24-hour on-sight vaccination site there for those with a Phase1A or 1B designation who register in advance. (Photo by Charlie Leight, Arizona State University)
State Farm Stadium vaccination site moving into Gila River Arena
Arizona’s largest vaccination site at State Farm Stadium, described as a “national model” by President Biden, will transition to an indoor site at Gila River Arena in Glendale on Friday, April 23, as temperatures heat up in Arizona.
Home to the Arizona Cardinals, the State Farm Stadium site has administered more than 625,000 doses since opening Jan. 11. It has become one of the largest mass-vaccination sites in the country, providing more than 10,000 doses per day this past weekend.
The new site will keep up the momentum as COVID-19 vaccine appointments move from the outdoor, drive-thru site at State Farm Stadium to a new, air-conditioned venue just down the street at Gila River Arena. Both venues are managed by ASM Global.
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“Arizona is so thankful to the Arizona Cardinals, Michael Bidwill and the Bidwill family, and all of the partners who stepped up to help make our first state-run vaccination site a national success,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “This is a true team effort, and the mission to get Arizonans vaccinated continues with this new location.”
“The success of State Farm Stadium as a COVID-19 vaccination site is truly a testament to the value of teamwork and ingenuity,” said Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill. “Where no template existed, a model was created that is being replicated across the nation and now across the street. We are continually grateful to all of the project’s deeply-committed partners and especially to the tens of thousands of volunteers who keep it running on a daily basis.”
The State Farm Stadium site will move to nighttime hours starting Monday, April 5, to avoid daytime heat. It will conclude operations the morning of April 23 and move indoors to Gila River Arena, home to the Arizona Coyotes. Operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, the new Gila River Arena site will have the capacity to administer 1,000 shots per hour.
“President Biden and others have cited the State Farm Stadium operation as a model for mass-vaccination,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). “This site will continue to be a national model for mass vaccination as we shift outdoor operations to indoor locations. Gila River Arena and city of Glendale, in partnership with ADHS and the Arizona Cardinals, are making it possible to continue vaccinating while the Glendale operation gets closer to administering 1 million doses.”
The shift to an indoor site in Glendale is one of a number of changes ADHS will make to continue vaccination momentum while moving away from outdoor sites as temperatures heat up:
• An indoor vaccination site at Yuma Civic Center transitioned to a state operation on Monday, March 29, with 8,000 appointments per week initially and capacity for 4,000 appointments a day.
• An East Mesa distribution center operated by Dexcom opens Monday, April 5, as the Valley’s first state-run indoor drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site, replacing the outdoor site currently operating at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. The site will start out offering 3,000-4,000 appointments a day.
The new indoor vaccination site in Glendale will use Gila River Arena’s main concourse to check in and vaccinate patients who have appointments, while the arena’s seats will be available for individuals to spend their 15 or 30 minutes of observation after vaccination.
Vaccine recipients will enter through the venue’s main entrance at Gate 4, and parking at the site will be complimentary.
“As the managers of Gila River Arena, and in conjunction with our industry leading Venue Shield protective program, ASM Global being called upon to help move the needle and activate our resources, and local partnerships, to take one step closer to getting our business and lives back to normal, is something we are immensely proud to participate in.” said Dale Adams, General Manager for Gila River Arena.
This transition continues momentum generated by a partnership with the Arizona Cardinals, who made State Farm Stadium’s parking lot available to create the first state-run vaccination operation in Arizona.
“The Arizona Cardinals have been fantastic partners throughout, and they remain connected and supportive of the indoor site in cooperation with Gila River Arena,” Dr. Christ said.
Other partners at the Glendale operation are the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, Arizona State University and Walgreens.
At 11 a.m. every Friday, ADHS makes appointments available at state-run sites for the following week. Registration for these and many other sites is available at podvaccine.azdhs.gov or by calling 844-542-8201 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Both resources offer assistance in English and Spanish.
“I encourage all Arizonans to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible at a location near them. It’s safe, it’s effective and it’s completely free,” said Governor Ducey.
Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine, To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination, please visit azdhs.gov/COVID19Vaccines.