SoFi Stadium fan debut strike the right note


First time fans at SoFi Stadium Image: SoFi Stadium

All roads led to SoFi Stadium (US) on May 2nd and provided a glimpse of what life was in a pre-COVID-19 world. The scintillating venue was filled with crowd for a charity concert which was kind of a pilot and wanted to boost people’s confidence in the virus vaccines and raised funds for vaccination efforts globally.

Since the SoFi Stadium opened on September 8th, 2020, it was for the first time that fans had entered the beautiful structure’s premise. For so long, the stadium was holding National Football League (NFL) matchups with empty stands as the COVID-19 situation was very dangerous in the United States. It is only after the vaccine rollout that the coronavirus dust has settled to a great extent in the country.

‘abc7’ stated that ‘VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World’, sponsored by relief organization Global Citizen, will not mark a complete return to normal life. Though spectators flocked to the venue, attendance was being restricted to people who were “fully vaccinated”, in other words, they must have received their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine no later than April 18th. And it was mask mandatory inside the spectacular facility, with the exception of the performers while they were on stage.

The 70,000-capacity SoFi Stadium is a stadium and entertainment complex in Inglewood, California, United States. It is located at the former site of the Hollywood Park Racetrack 3 miles from LAX Airport, immediately Southeast of The Forum. Both Allegiant Stadium and SoFi Stadium have opened not very long back and are jaw-dropping venues in the United States.

New York (US)-based Global Citizen (also known as Global Poverty Project) is an international education and advocacy organization working to catalyze the movement to end extreme poverty. The organization was founded by Hugh Evans, Simon Moss and Wei Soo, and aims to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action to support the cause.

‘abc7’ further quoted a Global Citizen spokeswoman as stating, “We worked closely with the L.A. County and the State of California to ensure a safe and enjoyable event. We followed all of the latest guidelines with regards to capacity at the venue and testing protocols to ensure the entire crew and audience were safe.”

The spokeswoman further added, “Global Citizen verified the vaccination status by checking vaccination cards both ahead of the event and on site. Other measures like temperature checks, onsite rapid testing for the working crews, contact tracing, and limited capacity was in place.”

The exact figure of how many music buffs exactly attended the charity concert is still not clear. With Los Angeles County in the orange tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, attendance at outdoor events is generally limited to 33 percent of the capacity. However, since organizers required all attendees to show proof of vaccination, the guidelines allowed to 67 percent of the capacity.

The SoFi Stadium has a base capacity of roughly 70,000, although it is expandable to more than 100,000 for major events like the Super Bowl, which will be played at the arena next year. Based on the 70,000 capacity, the concert could allow nearly 47,000 people.

As per Global Citizen, “While present guidelines allow for fully vaccinated people to sit shoulder-to-shoulder at events, we operated on a reduced capacity that allows for gaps between groups.

SoFi Stadium has implemented robust cleaning protocols. Handwashing and sanitation stations were available throughout the venue.”

Tickets for the event were provided to the fully vaccinated frontline healthcare workers and essential workers – the real COVID warriors – by Global Citizen and its “partner organizations”.

The concert was hosted by the American actor and singer Selena Gomez which began at 6 pm and included acts by American actor Jennifer Lopez, American singer Eddie Vedder, American rock band Foo Fighters, Colombian singer J Balvin, and American singer-songwriter H.E.R. The concert was taped for a May 8th worldwide fundraising broadcast, to be aired on ABC, CBS, Fox, YouTube, and on iHeartMedia radio stations, and internationally on various other broadcast platforms. It was the largest concert in Southern California since COVID-19 came like a bolt from the blue for the world in March 2020.

Stated concertgoer Sara Gordon, “I definitely urge everyone to get the vaccine. Definitely worth it to be able to get back to normal again and do things like this.”

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, served as Co-Chairs for the Global Citizen fundraising campaign aimed at providing COVID vaccines in poverty-struck countries.

Organizers stated, “They delivered an important global message for vaccine equity during the event.”

The US President Joe Biden and his wife, and Vice-President Kamala Harris will also appear on the broadcast “to increase public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing”.

The French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Croatia Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic will also appear during the broadcast event on May 8th.

The objective behind the broadcast is to encourage donations, with the goal of ensuring vaccinations for 27 million healthcare workers globally, including in the poorest countries of the world. Organizers will also advocate for “equitable distribution” of vaccines.

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