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Charlotte Motor Speedway could host over 6,000 fans for Roval 400 NASCAR playoff race

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 9/23/2020 By Alex Andrejev, The Charlotte Observer

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced during a press conference Tuesday that large outdoor event venues can begin operating at seven percent capacity starting next Friday, allowing NASCAR to host up to 6,650 fans for a Cup Series playoff race, the Roval 400, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course on Oct. 11.

“We’re quickly processing the latest information regarding limited fan capacity from Governor Cooper,” a statement from Charlotte Motor Speedway said. “We will have some direction soon for our fans who’ve purchased tickets to the Bank of America ROVAL 400 and accompanying events on our NASCAR Playoff weekend.”

The announcement also affects Bank of America Stadium, where the Carolina Panthers are able to host roughly 5,200 spectators for an NFL game on Oct. 4 against the Arizona Cardinals. The Charlotte 49ers could host just fewer than 1,100 fans at Richardson Stadium.

A press release from the Governor’s Office said that the announcement was made today “so these locations could begin putting safety measures in place in order to operate.”

“We will continue analyzing our data and indicators as we determine how to move forward safely in other areas that may be included in the new order on October 2nd,” Cooper said. “In it, we hope to ease some other restrictions, while still keeping safety protocols like masks, social distancing, and mass gathering limits in place.”

The order considers “large entertainment venues” stadiums that seat over 10,000 people. Charlotte Motor Speedway seats 95,000.

The speedway has not yet made an announcement regarding expanded ticket sales for the October event, but the track has filed an independent health and safety proposal with the state in order to host fans for the race.

According to Charlotte Motor Speedway’s website, “This plan would include deep-cleaning and sanitizing high-touch, high-traffic areas; installing hand-sanitizer stations throughout the concourse; infield access for race team and track operations personnel only; mobile ticket-scanning; and other protocols as recommended by state/local health officials.”

Ticket exchange information and additional safety protocols can be also be found on the speedway website.

Fans were not allowed to attend NASCAR’s latest Cup races at Charlotte in late-May — the Coca-Cola 600 followed by the Also Uniforms 500 — while North Carolina was in Phase 2 of its reopening.

The All-Star Race, which had been held at Charlotte every year since 1986, was moved to Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee this year as positive coronavirus cases in the state and in nearby counties were rising. Bristol hosted roughly 22,000 spectators for the event, and saw a crowd that looked close to its sold out ticket capacity of 30,000 spectators for NASCAR’s more recent race at the track on Saturday.

”With more things open and people moving around more, we need everyone to stay vigilant about wearing a mask, waiting six feet apart, and washing their hands often,” said Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Our progress is fragile and will take our continued hard to work to protect it.”

NASCAR tracks at Talladega, Kansas, Texas and Phoenix have announced they will host limited fans for upcoming playoff races. South Carolina approved a waiver to allow Darlington Raceway to host up to 17 percent of its total seating capacity (8,000 fans) for the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sept. 6.

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©2020 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)

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