Houston Rockets to use Toyota Center for polling station in 2020 election

Apr 2, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the Houston Rockets logo during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Rockets defeated the Mavericks 108-101. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It is becoming a trend around the sports world that should help get out the vote efforts ahead of November’s Presidential Election.

Sport teams opting to use their venues as polling stations. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the latest Major League Baseball team to do this.

We now have an NBA team making similar plans.

Houston Rockets to use Toyota Center for polling station

In a typical year, these dates would be reserved for the Rockets actually playing basketball. Though, as we all already know, 2020 has not been a typical year.

Even if the Rockets are still somehow playing playoff basketball, it will be in Orlando. As for the 2020-21 NBA season, that’s not expected to start until early next year.

The idea of using arenas and stadiums as polling stations is new. At issue here is the ability to vote in-person come October and November due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the NBA’s season to be suspended for five-plus months in the first place.

It’s something we’re likely going to see a lot of moving forward. Teams and local leaders creating a safer environment to vote while giving people ample opportunities to cast their ballots.

As for the state of Texas, it’s expected to be a surprise battleground between incumbent President Donald Trump (R) and challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden (R). That makes this a pretty big deal from a political lens.

The backdrop here is a sports world that continues to involve itself in the societal issues we’re seeing in the United States more than ever before. That’s no more true than in the NBA, where we’ve seen teams boycott entire games during the postseason at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

It’s going to be interesting to see how many more teams opt to do what the Rockets are doing in Texas.