Mar 18

Mass Vaccination site departure will culminate Alamodome’s pandemic support efforts

The Alamodome Mass Vaccination site (Lot B) will cease operations on Friday, March 25, 2022 culminating 15 months of continuous service and more than 226,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. The occasion will mark another milestone in the Alamodome’s pandemic support efforts that date back to March of 2020 and the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

The venue like many of its peers was shuttered in support of mitigating the spread of a then unknown disease. The skeleton staff that remained made it their mission to create a comprehensive reopening plan that not only allowed live events to return amidst very strict guidelines but also coexist with the local community’s need for a centralized location to combat COVID.

 

Health support initiatives began in early March of 2020 when the Alamodome hosted the first of two community blood drives that attracted 2,053 donors over a total of seven days. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) distribution from parking lot B began in May of 2020 assuring that 4,800(+) front line local business employees had access to a nationally limited supply. The Alamodome served as a City of San Antonio/Bexar County - PPE Warehouse Storage Area from April – July 2020. Beginning in June of 2020, parking lots were utilized as San Antonio Food Bank - Mega Food Distribution Sites (22 times) and averaged 1,200 cars per event that helped more than 25,000 local families in need.

 

The facility welcomed the San Antonio Metro Health Department contact tracing team to the 24,000 square foot Alamodome Exhibit Hall in July of 2020. The endeavor required the set-up of 450 Workstations and 135 phone lines by Alamodome and City of San Antonio staff. Contact tracers conducted more than 461,650 case investigations to help mitigate the spread of the virus and disseminate COVID related information to citizens. The Call Center will end Alamodome based operations on March 30, 2022 after 600 plus calendar days of continuous service.

 

The Alamodome reopened its doors on Sept. 19, 2020 to begin the UTSA College Football Season. Fan safety procedures implemented included digital ticketing in socially distanced seating pods, touch-less venue entry, mobile food ordering, social distancing measures and the enforced wearing of face covers unless actively eating or drinking. The successful implementation of the reopening plan afforded the City of San Antonio and partners like San Antonio Sports to parlay a championship bid win into an opportunity to host the entire 2021 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Tournament with 64 teams competing from March 21 and ending with the Final Four Championship game on April 4, 2021.

 

For its part, the Alamodome expanded a three game championship weekend into a 35 game nationally televised schedule with an additional 108 practices at the venue. The facility hosted match-ups in the First and Second Rounds and all games of the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and the Finals. Staff made history by creating under one roof, a dual-arena configuration that helped expedite COVID-19 cleaning efforts and enhance social distance protocols. The NCAA tournament alone generated an estimated $27.2 million in economic impact for San Antonio and filled 35,000 room nights at area hotels. An estimated 33,246,000 national broadcast viewers were able to cheer on their teams and experience San Antonio and the Alamodome virtually.

 

Whether socially distanced or at capacity, all Alamodome events seamlessly co-existed with Public Health efforts utilizing the building and/or parking lots. Since the return of live entertainment, the Alamodome has hosted 198 event days with an estimated 755,708 attendees. Downtown area hotel nights booked have increased and the venue’s economic impact to the local economy is value-added apparent.

 

In addition to the increase in event dates, the Alamodome expanded its public health support in December of 2020 with drive-up vaccination services in lot A and walk-up appointments inside the building. By February of 2021, all vaccinations moved outside for drive through service with a capability of over eight thousand shots per day. The end of vaccine services at the Alamodome will be marked by the removal of the large white tents in the parking lots but the building and its staff will continue to stand at the ready to serve the San Antonio community.