BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL)- Bristol Motor Speedway is preparing to host the first major sporting event with fans in the stands in the region since the beginning of the pandemic.
On Thursday, Bristol Motor Speedway’s Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell said they are taking extensive safety measures in preparation to welcome fans back to the track.
“NASCAR was the first sport really to get back to live sports events and going to be one of the first sports to host a major number of race fans or a substantial number of race fans for their event and we are thrilled and honored that is happening here at Bristol Motor Speedway,” Caldwell said.
Track officials outlined their safety plan online that included notes about social distancing, face masks and screening protocols.
The following is a list of safety protocol modifications as noted by BMS officials in a release Thursday:
• All ticketing, from initial purchase to scanning, will be conducted digitally to eliminate contact points
• Seating will be strategically assigned at the time of purchase to ensure social distancing between groups
• No will-call or in-person ticket pickup services will be available (all ticketing will be conducted digitally)
• Tickets start at $35 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and under, and are on sale at www.bristolmotorspeedway.com
• Guest Services personnel will be on hand during the event to help answer questions and provide guidance
• Trams and shuttle buses will not operate during this event
• Golf cart shuttles will be reserved for guests with limited mobility
• Free parking is available at Speedway Parking (located at the corner of White Top Road and Highway 394)
• Paid parking options are available at neighboring properties
• Guests are encouraged to put on masks once they enter the property
• Facial coverings are required whenever guests are in common areas such as gates, restrooms, concessions, souvenir stands, elevators, concourses and suite-level hallways
• Masks may be removed once guests are socially distanced in their assigned seats
• If a guest purchases a ticket and then becomes ill, a refund will be issued
• All BMS personnel will be temperature screened on event day and wear a face covering at all times. Personnel will also wear gloves, as needed.
• Whether on grounds or off, BMS encourages all residents and guests to observe the practices of social distancing, frequent hand washing, wearing a face covering in all public spaces, and using hand sanitizer
• Guests will receive notification of designated entrance times and assigned gate
• All guests accessing the suites will undergo temperature screenings before entering elevators
• No re-entry after leaving the facility
• On completion of the race, a staggered exit plan will be in effect (BMS will provide guidance for dismissal of seating areas to help reduce crowding on concourses and in aisles)
• Guests are asked to socially distance at all times while on grounds (floor markings at concourse, concession and souvenir stands and directional traffic flow signage will be provided)
• BMS’ Ticket Office will stagger seating throughout the stands to provide for a minimum of 6 feet of distance between groups
• Suites will operate at a reduced capacity, in line with Tennessee state guidance
• Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the grounds
• BMS will follow enhanced cleaning procedures, especially in high-touch surface areas such as handrails and bathrooms
Food & Drink and Souvenirs
• All purchases from food and souvenir stands will be electronic transactions (debit and credit cards only, no cash or checks)
• Only clear, soft-sided bags 14” x 14” x14” and smaller will be allowed in
• No coolers or glass containers permitted
• Speedway World, Bristol Motor Speedway’s gift shop inside the Bruton Smith Building, will be closed
• No on-grounds camping, other than a limited number of overnight RV spaces, will be available
• Area campgrounds will open on Tuesday, Aug. 14, and close on Thursday, Aug. 16.
The following amenities have been temporarily halted in order to comply with industry guidelines and help reduce the risk of transmission:
• On-grounds concerts
• Public access to infield (no track walks or hot/cold passes)
• Public access to drivers’ meeting
• Driver meet-and-greet sessions
• Headset/scanner rentals
• Golf cart rentals
• Fan Zone, corporate and vendor displays
• Pay phones
The track also posted the following video to review safety protocols:
You can watch the entire news briefing on our WJHL Facebook page below.