Officials from The Armory Track have announced that the facility will be used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre for the remainder of the indoor season. Located in New York City, the Armory is the site of the storied Millrose Games and so many other meets, and it is one of the most well-known tracks in North America. While officials acknowledge that this news may be disappointing for athletes, they note that the health and safety of New Yorkers is far more important than the rest of the indoor track season, and they are excited to help with the city’s vaccine rollout.
— The Armory (@ArmoryNYC) January 15, 2021
No more meets
The Armory hosted more than 20 meets throughout the first half of the indoor track season, but any events scheduled beyond mid-January have been cancelled. The Millrose Games were originally scheduled to run on February 13, but organizers announced in December that the event had been cancelled due to COVID-19.
“Canceling the iconic Millrose Games was a very difficult decision,” meet director Ray Flynn said in a statement, “but with all the health concerns surrounding an event of this complexity, rather than risking the athletes, officials, meet personnel, media and others, we have decided to wait until February 12, 2022, for the next edition of the Millrose Games.” The 2021 event would have been the 114th edition of the Games, but that will have to wait until next year.
#NYP is proud to be working with @NYGovCuomo to launch a #COVID19 vaccination site at @Armorynyc in #WashingtonHeights. This partnership, alongside @columbiamed & @weillcornell, brings us one step closer to restoring the vitality of the city we love: https://t.co/mP2RLUcnSH pic.twitter.com/3OPoRBM4Rj
— NewYork-Presbyterian (@nyphospital) January 15, 2021
An Armory tradition
As noted on The Armory website, the facility has played an important role in New York City for more than a century, and not just because of its track. It was originally built in 1904 for the New York State Militia, who worked to protect the state’s citizens. Decades later in the 1980s, it became a homeless shelter, providing close to 2,000 beds to New York City‘s homeless population for 10 years.
Now, it is of course a track, and it hosts more than 100 meets each year, welcoming hundreds of thousands of athletes. For the rest of the 2021 season, though, it will be used for its original purpose, protecting New Yorkers and helping them through these tough times before hopefully hosting more meets next winter.