Reader urges support of racetracks impacted by COVID attendance restrictions

Published 3:07 pm Friday, February 26, 2021

To the Editor:
There are so many independent track owners who have been hit hard by the pandemic. The tracks are big enough to put certain levels of safety to open and operate in accordance with CDC guidelines. Please let us have our racing. We are outdoors and can follow guidelines.
I write to request that Congress create a grant program to support recreation, sports, and amusement venues that provide live entertainment yet were excluded from the “Shuttered Venue Operators Grants” program (Section 324 of Public Law No:116-260). It is imperative to the future of racetracks in communities across the country that Congress provide a lifeline for live entertainment businesses that have experienced unprecedented declines in revenue as a result of complying with attendance restrictions.
Many small businesses, including family owned and operated racetracks, depend on hosting live events each week. These venues have been devastated by lockdowns and capacity restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing revenue declines of 50% or more. Ticket buying customers were prohibited from attending races, and race teams were unable to perform or participate in motorsports competition in the months after the start of the pandemic. Ongoing attendance restrictions continue to threaten many racetracks along with other entertainment venues, which provide jobs and are integral to communities across the country.
Please support the nearly 1,000 small local and regional live event providers that host motorsports events in addition to the millions of fans who depend on local racetracks for affordable, family-friendly entertainment.

Kent Crowe

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