Racing Without Fans In The Grandstands
I follow the local motorsports scene on the West Coast. When the covid-19 shutdown occurred, it hurt many businesses. It went from the big corporations all the way down to the mom-and-pop businesses. We will still be feeling the effect of this for a while.
In the world of motorsports, promoters are worrying about paying the rent so that they can keep running their tracks. The real problem is they can't have fans in the grandstands on the West Coast.
Apparently, they can have as many people as they want in the pits. That is to say the participants and their crew members can sign in, and there are times when there are over 500 of them at certain venues.
They're basically saying that on that side of the fence, they're not really worried about you. On the grandstand side, they must protect the people from themselves. It's a bit uneven, to say the least.
One creative promoter in Oregon at Coos Bay Speedway has dubbed his race track a bar and grill. This is to use the existing bar and grill guidelines as a way to open his grandstands and sell concessions. This is the only oval track on the West Coast with fans and food in the grandstand area.
Opening your race track without fans is obviously not ideal. You're losing the money you would make from spectators who buy tickets and buy your food. Some tracks have sponsors giving them purse money. They earn a little bit of revenue via internet broadcasting. However, tracks are losing thousands of dollars right now.
It is a less-than-ideal situation. Frankly, there are some tracks that don't want to open or still don't have permission to do so. I guess you can't blame the tracks for opening and trying to make the best of this bad situation.
Racing is no different than any other business. They are struggling to make every dollar they can while being prevented from doing everything they can to generate revenue.
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