What It's Like Attending A Race During COVID-19

What It's Like Attending A Race During COVID-19

By James Jackson

On Wednesday July 15, 2020, NASCAR held it's premier All-Star event at Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time in it's history. This race was also big for NASCAR and sports in general for a different reason, this race was the largest attending sporting event since COVID-19 started. The Under Review staff of James Wilson, Brett Wiseman and myself attended the race and documented what we saw at the event and how prepared the track was for allowing fans back.

As we pulled into our parking spot close to the track, we saw a large amount of fans without masks just walking around. Most were walking around the merchandise vendors without masks. When it came to merchandise, there was only two team haulers at the track with merchandise (Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson) however, both haulers had merchandise of William Byron and Alex Bowman as well. The Hendrick Motorsports merchandise staff had masks on and glass covering them from any disease. All other vendors were just random pop-up tents that you usually see on the side of the road during a race weekend.

As we approached the outside of the track closer to the entrance, they started enforcing masks. There was a staff member of Bristol Motor Speedway handing out masks to those who didn't have a mask which I thought was a good thing to do. Once we entered the track, it was masks on in any area except our seats. From what I saw, most purchases had to be made with a debit/credit card. We arrived at our seats and I'll tell you, I've never had so much room at a NASCAR race to stretch my legs. From our seats, there was nobody directly in front or behind us. The nearest person in front and behind us was two rows away from us. I've had people reach out to me saying it didn't look like we were social distancing on television but I can tell you, we were! 

At the conclusion of the race, a notification came on the big screen telling fans to:

1: Wear your mask on your way out of the track

2: Wait until you are released from your row

3: Exit to your right

Personally, I felt NASCAR handled the situation really well and if other sports want to return with fans, they need to look at what NASCAR did on Wednesday night.

PHOTO: James Jackson/Under Review