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Tens of Thousands Have Put COVID-19 on Ice at Coyotes' Home

Gila River Arena serving community as vaccination site

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

More than 64,000 Arizonans received vaccinations at Gila River Arena since the facility became a COVID-19 vaccination site on April 23. 

Gila River Arena operates 12 hours a day, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and has the capacity to administer 1,000 shots per hour. Approximately 3.2 million people across Arizona have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

"This is such an impressive endeavor," Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez said. "The difference that we're making in the lives of all these families and the lives of our community, it's just so encouraging. We are honored to be a part of it as an organization, as an ownership and leadership group."

During the pandemic, the Coyotes home arena has served various, non-hockey purposes, which thoroughly pleases Gutierrez. Gila River Arena has hosted food drives, blood drives and served as a voting center during the 2020 election.

State Farm Stadium originally opened as the West Valley's main -- and outdoor -- vaccination site. However, due to spring temperatures, the program transitioned to the air-conditioned Gila River Arena.

Dale Adams, General Manager of Gila River Arena, also is pleased.

"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, "Adams said. "It is something we are immensely proud to participate in." 

Gila River Arena's main concourse is used to register and vaccinate patients. Vaccinated individuals use the seats in the lower bowl for a 15-30-minute observation period after vaccination. 

Parking is complimentary; patients with appointments enter through Gila River Arena's main entrance at Gate 4. 

"This is really just another step in our effort to really make a difference and to use everything we can as an organization to really be impactful," Gutierrez said.

"This is what we envisioned when we thought about being a part of this organization and this incredible fan base and community," Gutierrez continued. "We envisioned being able to bring to bear everything that we had as far as resources, and it's incredibly impressive, the logistics, to get people in and out, to have them feel safe. It is important for people to know that we are here for them. We are honored to partner with these incredible organizations that are helping our communities be safe."

Walk-in vaccinations still are accepted at Gila River Arena, though appointments generally provide for a shorter waiting period. Appointments can be made at podvaccine.azdhs.gov. For more infomation, visit Gila River Arena's COVID-19 vaccine resource page.

Gila River Arena's vaccine site offers the Pfizer vaccine, which is now available to those age 12 years and older. Anyone under the age of 18 (between the ages of 12-17 years of age) being vaccinated must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or authorized adult and show proof of age upon entry (ie birth certificate, drivers license, valid US Passport, etc.).

"I am very proud of the fact that we are part of a very innovative thought process," Gutierrez said. "How we as an organization can really step up and really be that community leader. How we can use all of our resources, including this arena to really do for others, to really make an impact in other people's lives."

Photo Credits: Kelsey Grant - Arizona Coyotes

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