For Immediate Release; www.elkospeedway.com
Elko, Minn. (June 30, 2020) – Citing crowd capacity restrictions, Elko Speedway announced today it is postponing its July 4 season-opener, which was to include a special event called “Racing Against Racism.”
Elko Speedway has seating capacity for 6,000 spectators and is an outdoor venue. Yet, the current executive order caps crowd sizes at outdoor entertainment venues at 250, the same limitations placed on indoor gatherings at churches and restaurants. The season opener was already delayed due to the governor's executive orders related to COVID-19. Elko Speedway, located just south of Lakeville, has adhered to those guidelines.
Elko Speedway owner Tom Ryan has been in regular communication with Governor Walz, DEED Commissioner Steve Grove and Sen. Matt Little. There was some indication outdoor entertainment venues could see a modification to crowd limits prior to July 4.
“This is very disappointing to face inconsistent government restrictions,” said Tom Ryan. “We always put the safety of our fans and drivers first, and there's no doubt we can safely open at fifty-percent capacity.
“Matt (Little) and Steve (Grove) have been especially helpful and responsive,” Ryan said. “There's something wrong when the state's health commissioner acknowledges the coronavirus is spread more easily indoors, but the governor's executive order doesn't reflect this as it applies to outdoor venues. There's no consistency. Being a Minnesota business owner, it’s especially difficult to understand how race tracks in Wisconsin have been allowed for weeks to open without limits on crowd size and haven’t reported any problems, yet we can’t exceed 250 fans.”
The “Racing Against Racism” event will be rescheduled. Elko has already developed a “Racing Against Racism” page on its website, which includes interviews about race, sports and society with former VP Walter Mondale, Twins President/CEO Dave St. Peter, WCCO Radio personality Sheletta Brundidge and NASCAR VP of Diversity and Inclusion Brandon Thompson, among others.
“We are very committed to bringing a better understanding to issues facing our society today,” Ryan said. “We look forward to moving ahead with the “Racing Against Racism” event with the largest crowd safely possible, when we do open.”
About Elko Speedway: Located just south of the Twin Cities off I-35, Elko! is your source for affordable family fun since 1965. Featuring action-packed Eve of Destruction® events guaranteed to thrill, door to door NASCAR racing on a 3/8 mile asphalt oval track, and a Drive-In movie theater, ELKO! is your home for a Saturday night full of entertainment.
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