Chris Blair, the general manager for World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, spent Monday morning answering phone calls and texts from people wanting to know if fans had been barred from the IndyCar doubleheader Aug. 29-30 following a new COVID-19 edict from Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“Unfortunately people just read the headline in the paper and not the story, because it was about reduced seating in bars, restaurants and casinos, but not about outdoor events, and it doesn’t affect us,” said Blair. “We’re still open for business for the IndyCar weekend. We’re still good for 20 percent capacity, and our goal is to sell as many tickets as we can and get close to 15,000.
“We’ve got social distancing arranged, and there are ways to make it work, and we will.”
The weekend features afternoon shows with ARCA stock cars and IndyCar on Saturday and NASCAR Trucks and IndyCar on Sunday, and a $99 reserved seat for both days. There will also be an Indy Pro 2000 race on Saturday, and the Vintage Indy cars on Sunday morning.
“[Ticket sales] were doing OK until Mid-Ohio made their announcement that it was moving to September because of restrictions, so we slowed dramatically, and then when Indy announced no fans it was like slamming on the brakes,” Blair said. “I get it, people are going to wait until the last minute to to make sure, and that’s certainly understandable.
“But our region is good for at least the next four weeks, and I just want people to know that. The only thing we have to do is close the concession stands by 11 p.m. – but if we’re still running at 11 p.m., we’ve got a lot of other problems.”