NASCAR to allow up to 5,000 fans at Talladega Cup race
NASCAR announced Tuesday that it will allow up to 5,000 guests for the June 21 Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.
The track also announced that there will be limited motorhome camping spots available outside the track along the backstretch. Tickets are open exclusively on a first-come, first-served basis to fans who purchased tickets or reserved camping for the event, which was previously scheduled for April 26.
Grandstand tickets will be $40 each. Tower tickets will be $50 each. There is no special pricing for kids 12 and younger for the Cup race. A maximum of six seats grouped together will be allowed. The track will automatically block sale of seats to ensure proper spacing for social distancing. All tickets will be delivered via Tickets @ Home. That will allow fans to display their tickets on their mobile device for non-contact entry at the gates or the ability to print tickets at home.
Daryl Wolfe, NASCAR executive vice president, chief operations and sales officer, said the 5,000-person limit at Talladega was a combination of “what do we feel like is the right stair-step approach” the percent of capacity and consultation with local public officials and medical experts and “what they were comfortable with as well.
“You mix all that together, assess what the right approach is and that’s the number we landed on.”
According to a 2018 annual report by International Speedway Corp., Talladega Superspeedway had a seating capacity of 78,000. A crowd of 5,000 would less than 7% of capacity. The Talladega race follows Sunday’s Miami Cup race, which will have up to 1,000 people in the stands.
Fans must adhere to social distancing of 6 feet. All spectators age 3 and up will be required to wear a face covering. Each spectator will be screened before entering the event gates. Initial screening will include questions regarding current health status and potential exposure, as well as a non-contact temperature check. Spectators also will be required to complete a waiver process.
No tailgating before or after the event will be allowed on track property. Spectators will be directed to specific parking lots. A sequenced ingress/egress procedure into the facility property/gates will be used to minimize large concentrations of people. More info is to come on specific times and entry locations for spectators. Entry and exit to the grandstands, along with routes to concession stands and restrooms via the frontstretch concourse will adhere to social distancing guidelines. No coolers or ice packs of any type will be permitted inside the entry gates.
Once in grandstands, fans will not be allowed to exit the property and return. Fans will not be allowed in the infield.
The track will have multiple concession stands open with grab-n-go pre-packaged items for $2 to $5 each. Those items include sandwiches, salads, chips, candy, snacks, soft drinks and beer. All transactions will be cashless. Accepted forms of payment: Debit, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
The track states that concessions and restrooms will maintain physical distancing and have more frequent cleaning across high touch locations.
There will be no fans for the Saturday Xfinity race at Talladega.
Miami-Dade County has given Homestead-Miami Speedway permission to host up to 1,000 military personnel, first responders and their household members to Sunday’s Cup race there. Those admitted would not be charged and allowed only in the grandstands. They also would be required to undergo a health screening before entering, wear a cloth mask and comply with other social distancing guidelines. They’ll be the first fans to sit in the stands for a NASCAR race. There were some fans at the Charlotte races last month but they were in the condos outside Turn 1 and not allowed in the stands.
Other upcoming NASCAR races will not be held with fans, tracks have announced. Those are Pocono (hosting NASCAR races June 26-28), Indianapolis (July 4-5) and Kentucky (July 9-12).
Charlotte Motor Speedway, which hosts the July 15 All-Star Race, has stated it is in consultation with state and local health officials about if fans will be allowed at that event but no decision has been made.
Texas Motor Speedway, which hosts NASCAR races July 18-19, has stated it is working with state and local officials to determine the size and scope of fans who will be able to attend those races.
Kansas Speedway has stated that its races July 23-25 will be run without spectators but noted track officials are in consultation with state and local officials to determine if that could change.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which hosts a Cup race Aug. 2, said that it is unclear if fans will be allowed at its events.
NASCAR has not announced its revised schedule beyond Aug. 2.
In IndyCar, Roger Penske, whose company purchased Indianapolis Motor Speedway, told Racer.com that “we are going to run (the Indianapolis 500) with fans.” If the Aug. 23 race on NBC can’t be run with fans, Racer.com stated that the event would move to October.