Amid ongoing social distancing and implemented bans on public gatherings, blood drives around the country were forced to cancel at a time when donations are especially crucial. Now the Arizona Cardinals are stepping up to host a blood drive at State Farm Stadium.
The Cardinals organization has teamed with Cigna and Dignity Health to hold a massive drive at State Farm Stadium March 31. The event will remain in accordance with mandated guidelines to avoid crowds by spreading stations throughout the stadium. Donations are also by online appointment only, which opened up registration Thursday and reached its max capacity in less than 24 hours.
“The enthusiastic and immediate response from the community for this blood drive has been overwhelming,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in an official statement. “We are so grateful to those who have registered to donate as well as to our partners at Cigna and Dignity Health and to Vitalant for hosting Tuesday’s event. The need is still great and we are in the process of planning additional events to accommodate those who were unable to participate in this initial effort.”
This is the latest relief measure taken by the Arizona Cardinals to help individuals and communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Linebacker Chandler Jones recently donated 150,000 meals to food banks both in Arizona and his home state, the hard-hit New York. Bidwell has also led franchise efforts by donating $1 million to the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund.
The NFL as a whole is stepping up in various ways to provide relief where possible. The Los Angeles Rams held a telethon to help the region’s local food bank and United Way Pandemic Relief Fund, which raised over $2 million and featured sizable donations from players Jared Goff and Andrew Whitworth. Additionally, teams throughout the league have extended payment deadlines for season ticket holders in the wake of economic uncertainty tied to the virus’ outbreak.