Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus pandemic struck and sports were shuttered, hundreds of venues suddenly became sleeping giants.

Why it matters: Some have since been repurposed, and it's fascinating to watch America's sports cathedrals — often among the largest and most prominent structures in their respective cities — take on new roles.

  • Some of those changes are temporary, but others could fundamentally change how communities view and use sports venues.

What they're saying: Sports architect Matt Rossetti touched on that last point in an interview with The Athletic:

"What I think and what I hope is [sports venues] will become more wedded to the fabric of cities, so they're no longer standalone facilities that light up only when there are events. ... There should be civic uses ... so they become more part of a community rather than a folly for billionaires."
Screenshot: @PawSox/Twitter

Temporary uses:

Permanent changes?

  • Voting sites: The Hawks, Pistons and Bucks have all offered their arenas as voting locations for the 2020 election. The idea is that large groups could pass through while staying six feet apart, but perhaps these massive, centrally-located venues will continue to be used for voting post-social distancing.
  • Movie nights: Miami's Hard Rock Stadium has transformed into a drive-in movie theater, which has reemerged as a popular form of entertainment during the pandemic. There's no reason teams couldn't set up regular movie nights post-COVID.

The bottom line: Multiple stadiums across the country have turned some very sour lemons into lemonade during the pandemic, repurposing themselves and serving their communities, even as sporting events and concerts are on hold.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

Early voting eclipses 2016 total with 12 days until election

People stand in line to vote early in Fairfax, Virginia in September. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Americans have cast more than 47.1 million ballots in the 2020 presidential election, surpassing the total early-vote count for 2016 with 12 days left until Election Day, according to a Washington Post analysis of voting data.

Why it matters: The election is already underway, as many states have expanded early and mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic.

What to expect from the final debate of the 2020 election

Trump and Biden at the first debate. Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Image

Watch for President Trump to address Joe Biden as “the big guy” or “the chairman” at tonight's debate as a way of dramatizing the Hunter Biden emails. Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski is expected to be a Trump debate guest.

The big picture: Trump's advisers universally view the first debate as a catastrophe — evidenced by a sharp plunge in Trump’s public and (more convincingly for them) private polling immediately following the debate.