Bristol Motor Speedway All-Star Race could be national “model” for return to live sports, Gov. Lee says


The governor said he would be attending Wednesday night's event at Bristol Motor Speedway

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – As activity bubbles at Bristol Motor Speedway in anticipation of Wednesday night’s All-Star Race, Gov. Bill Lee announced he will be one of the thousands of expected attendants at one of the first live sporting events to take place in the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Holding up a Bristol Motor Speedway mask, Lee said that NASCAR and BMS have been working with his administration to plan the event, expected to draw up to 30,000 attendants to the track tomorrow night.

He emphasized that the event will proceed with “very limited capacity” complete with social distancing and masking requirements for all attendants. The race will fall within days of Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable’s masking mandate, which requires that citizens wear face coverings in public, including most businesses.

Lee thanked Ballad Health and Eastman for donating thousands of masks to the community ahead of the event.

“NASCAR has been a great partner to us, and they’ve worked with us to develop what we believe will be a safe opportunity that can be a model for the country to watch how it is that we can return to safe live sports in the fall,” he said during the briefing.

Ahead of the race, BMS officials have put in place a number of protocols to keep patrons safe.

Staff will be at the gates with hand sanitizer, handing out masks for those who need them. Stickers are on the ground outside the gate as well as in the concession land line marking 6 feet apart from the person in front and behind.

Ticketing will be digital and seating will be assigned. Only 30,000 fans will be allowed in the track in order to follow social distancing guidelines.

Hand sanitizer stations will b available throughout the grounds with heightened cleaning measures on high touch areas throughout the evening.

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