Fans attending the July 15 All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will be required to wear face coverings in common areas, the track announced Thursday.
Common areas include gates, restrooms, concessions, souvenir stands, elevators, concourses and suite-level hallways.
The face covering requirement does not apply when fans are at their seat.
Previously, fans had been highly encouraged to wear masks.
Required face coverings in common areas are among the COVID-19 safety precautions Bristol Motor Speedway has announced for the All-Star Race, which will allow up to 30,000 fans to attend.
Organizations BMS has been in discussion with regarding precautions include Sullivan County Health Department officials, Ballad Health representatives, Tennessee state health experts, the city of Bristol, Tennessee and regional/state travel and tourism advisors.
“It was a very collaborative process,” Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, said in a statement to NBC Sports about the reasoning behind the face mask requirement. “We’ve had a number of discussions with state and local officials and as more information, data and statistics and have been made available to us, it was just a common sense solution we all agreed upon.”
Caldwell also addressed how the track will enforce the common area requirement.
“We’ve had a whole list of prohibited items over the years and it will be addressed just like those other items are,” Caldwell said to NBC Sports. “We’ll have team members positioned throughout the facility assisting guests and helping to remind them of new protocols.”
Here is the full list of precautions Bristol will have in place for the All-Star Race.
• 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
• 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
• 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” x 14” and smaller will be allowed
• No coolers or glass containers permitted
• 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, July 14, and close on Thursday, July 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