As Illinois moves through mandatory stay-home orders from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the Chicago Bulls are hoping to make the spacious United Center, where the team plays its home games, a “logistics hub” for the state’s coronavirus response.
According to a press release from the team on Wednesday, the area around the United Center will turn into a centerpiece of Chicago’s efforts, with “front-line food distribution, first responder staging and the collection of critically needed medical supplies.”
“Together, we will get through this,” the Bulls’ statement reads.
Pritzker deployed a stay-at-home order starting Saturday for all residents of Illinois. The vast majority of the state’s population resides in Chicago, meaning an aggressive response will be necessary from the epicenter, in addition to Pritzker’s order. The Bulls, after becoming subject to the suspension of the NBA season on March 11, will use the 20,000-plus seat arena and the surrounding land to help local officials orchestrate the service of its population during the coronavirus outbreak and corresponding surge of COVID-19 cases.
As of the release of the statement from the Bulls, Chicago had 730 confirmed coronavirus cases. The latest estimations of a return to play by the Bulls and the rest of the NBA ranges anywhere from mid-May to July.