Reports: Texas Motor Speedway Will Not Host IndyCar in June without Fans
The latest provisional NTT IndyCar Series campaign is scheduled to begin on June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway, but that’s not an option if fans would be prohibited from attending.
Track president Eddie Gossage told multiple media outlets over the past two days that the track would not host the new season opener if the coronavirus pandemic required sports to continue, but only behind closed doors.
“At some point we have to make a decision, but it’s not time yet,” Gossage told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Thursday. “We wouldn’t consider running Indy cars without fans in the stands.”
Gossage detailed his reasoning on Wednesday to Motorsport.com.
“The reason it is a consideration for NASCAR promoters is that the promoter receives 65% of the sizable TV rights fee,” Gossage said. “In IndyCar, the promoter does not receive any television rights fees. That is a basic issue that causes IndyCar, even in its best days, to not be nearly as desirable to a promoter and why you will always see a turnover in the events and schedule for IndyCar.”
IndyCar has twice revised its schedule due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The series had already unloaded at the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, at the time United States President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency on March 13.
The sanctioning body had started to contest the event without fans, but ultimately joined the near majority of the sporting world in ceasing operations until the immediate threat passed.
Since then, IndyCar has been forced to postpone St. Petersburg to the season-ending event in October while outright canceling the events at Barber Motorsports Park, Circuit of the Americas and the Belle Isle Raceway Park in Detroit.
That made Texas Motor Speedway the provisional season opener, barring both the relative containment of the novel coronavirus and the ability for fans to attend the event. The current schedule also includes a third event in October at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and doubleheaders at Iowa Speedway and Raceway Laguna Seca.
The IndyCar Grand Prix on the road course is now scheduled to take place alongside NASCAR during the Brickyard 400 weekend on July 4.
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