Updated Feb 11, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: Economic recovery in sports and entertainment in Charlotte

Axios Charlotte reporters Emma Way and Katie Peralta Soloff hosted a virtual conversation on economic recovery in the sports and entertainment industries in Charlotte featuring Gov. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.) and Fred Whitfield, president of Hornets Sports & Entertainment.

Gov. Roy Cooper discussed the vaccine rollout in North Carolina and efforts to ensure equitable distribution.

  • Why sports arenas make effective vaccination sites: "[These vaccines] are very difficult to store...So it's much more difficult to go out in communities and in small places to administer this vaccine because of how you have to store it. So these mass vaccination events can work well. And we were glad to bring in the business community and the sports teams have it in a place where everybody knows."
  • On the unequal impact of the pandemic: "This pandemic has been shining a light on challenges that already exist, and we know that this virus has hit communities of color and underserved communities extra hard."

Fred Whitfield discussed how the Hornets have adapted to the pandemic, as well as the social responsibility of businesses during times of crisis.

  • How sports centers have been utilized for the public good: "We were an early voting site for 16 days prior to the November election, the first time our building had been open to the public at that point. This Saturday is going to be a mass vaccination partnership...and we expect two to three thousand people to come into our building and be vaccinated."
  • On deepening the Hornets' connection to Charlotte: "We've been doing everything we can to earn our way in this community and become part of the core of the community. We look at the Spectrum Center as a gathering place for an entire community. The city owns our building and we take very seriously our obligation to be great stewards of that building."

Axios Senior Vice President of Events Kristin Burkhalter hosted a View from the Top segment with singer and songwriter Josh Daniel to discuss the entertainment industry in Charlotte and how he's adapted to the pandemic.

  • On his success with live music broadcasts: "I've connected with more people than I ever have. I've paid my bills. I've also been able to raise $50,000 for nonprofit charity organizations...I've gone from five thousand followers to forty thousand followers this year."

Thank you Facebook for sponsoring this event.

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