Australia, New Zealand venues as vax sites


Major venues in Australia and New Zealand becoming vaccination centers Image: Sky Stadium

Major venues across Australia and New Zealand has swapped sport and entertainment for vaccines, becoming sites for mass vaccinations against the dreaded COVID-19 disease which is causing havoc in Australia while the situation has stabilized in New Zealand a little.

The ‘Australasian Leisure Management’ stated that on August 28th, the day when it had at one time been scheduled to host the third Bledisloe Cup test, Wellington’s (New Zealand) Sky Stadium opened as a drive-through coronavirus vaccination clinic.

Open to the public after launching on August 27th to essential workers, it is being run by the Capital & Coast District Health Board, offering vaccinations by appointment only.

Commenting on the change, the Sky Stadium Chief Executive, Shane Harmon, who informed a month ago they were planning for a Bledisloe Cup match, stated, “The loss of the match hurt, but it gave us an opportunity to assist in a small way towards keeping our community safe and getting our lives back to normal.”

The 34,500-capacity Sky Stadium is a major sporting venue in Wellington, New Zealand. The stadium’s bowl site size is 48,000 m2. The stadium was built in 1999 by Fletcher Construction and is situated close to major transport facilities one kilometer North of the Central Business District (CBD).

The Bledisloe Cup is an annual rugby union competition between the national teams of Australia and New Zealand that has been contested since the 1930s.

The ‘Australasian Leisure Management’ further stated that in Palmerston North (New Zealand), the Central Energy Trust Arena and the Fly Palmy Arena are also being used as drive-through vaccination clinics.

John Lynch, Manager Venues Palmerston North for the Palmerston North City Council, advised, “Great that community assets can be utilized during lockdown … (the change) shows the versatility of our new Speedway pits area.”

The 18,000-capacity Central Energy Trust Arena is the current name of the 180,000 square meter publicly-owned recreational complex just West of the Palmerston North City Centre in the Manawatū-Whanganui region of New Zealand. It has three linked indoor stadiums, with movable tiered seating.

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), people in Australia’s capital Canberra will be able to access a COVID-19 vaccination center at the AIS Arena, with the AIS Arena COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Clinic to replace the mass vaccination clinic currently located at the Garran Surge Centre.

The AIS Arena is a multipurpose arena in Canberra, Australia. Its capacity is 5,200 and it was built in 1980.

The ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, stated, “This move to the AIS means more Canberrans will be able to access a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination faster.”

With the AIS Arena owned by the Federal Government as part of Canberra’s Australian Institute of Sport campus, the Federal Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck, noted, “The vaccination clinic at the AIS Arena will play an important role ensuring those who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine can get vaccinated as quickly as possible, and is aligned with the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy.”

In South Australia, the Adelaide Venue Management (AVM) Corporation (South Australia’s leading provider of venue management services) Chief Executive, Anthony Kirchner, reinforced the importance of the vaccination uptake among staff, advising that they need to get vaccinated “as soon as you get the opportunity”, warning “venues are going to have to demonstrate that their staff are fully vaccinated” to lure major clients.

Kirchner added, “We’re all going to need to be vaccinated if AVM is to achieve its full potential”, advising that in the context of “winning new business”, it was “becoming increasingly evident that venues are going to have to demonstrate that their staffs are fully vaccinated against COVID in the not-too distant future”.

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