The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series is the earliest starting of any major motorsports championship in America.
With the coronavirus still a factor in everyday life, there was a big mystery as to just how Feld Entertainment, the promoter of the series, would handle the rapidly approaching season.
Supercross concluded the 2020 season at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, running seven races in 22 days without fans in attendance.
In late October, Feld officials released a schedule for the coming season but listed venues for only the first 13 rounds of the 17-race campaign.
Fans will be welcome, but at reduced capacities of 20 to 25 percent depending on the venue. The season finale will again be run in Utah.
Anaheim, Calif., has become synonymous for hosting the Supercross season opener, but for the first time in 25 years the series will start in another state with the first three rounds being run at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The Texas trio of races (Jan. 16, 19 and 23) will be followed by a three-race stint (Jan. 30, Feb. 2 and Feb. 6) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Supercross was the first sport to complete its season and crown its champions in a bubble environment this year. Bubbles were widely popular and helped the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball complete their seasons.
The NFL was one of the first sports to welcome fans back to stadiums and Supercross will follow that lead while also using some bubble-environment tactics by hosting multiple races in a single location.
After the events in Indianapolis, the series is planned to run three times at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., before making its annual trek to Daytona Int’l Speedway on March 6. Three events at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will follow.
Rounds 14 through 16 of the championship will be announced at a later date as officials continue to work with stadium partners and local governments and health departments.
The remaining Eastern Regional and Western Regional 250SX class races, Triple Crown and East/West 250SX Showdown events will also be announced later.
One of the unexpected surprises of racing in the bubble in Salt Lake City was the creation of midweek races due to the condensed nature of the schedule. Racing every Wednesday during the three-week stretch became a fan-favorite while also boosting television ratings.
With that in mind, Supercross will host four SuperTuesday races, one in each of the host cities — Houston, Indianapolis, Glendale and Arlington, a first in the sport’s 48-year history.
To entice fans to return during doubleheader weeks, Feld officials will redesign the track layout between events on those weeks, giving fans and riders a completely different look within the same stadium.
Storylines abound for the Supercross season as the 450SX class continues to feature what has become an ever-expanding array of talent. For the first time in five years, three Supercross champions will be competing for a second title — Jason Anderson, Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac, while a deep field of contenders will be on the hunt to dethrone them and wreak havoc by winning races of their own. That group is headlined by Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen, Justin Barcia, Adam Cianciarulo and rookies Dylan Ferrandis, Chase Sexton and Shane McElrath.
“This schedule demonstrates the combative spirit of Feld Entertainment, the AMA and the FIM to take on the challenge and is a statement of our common hope for a better world in the near future,” said Jorge Viegas, FIM president. “Hard-core fans may be hungry for more, but with the pandemic situation, it is a realistic calendar. Competition starts in mid-January under COVID-19 restrictions and runs until Easter. Afterward, hopefully, we can return to a more traditional scenario. So, riders, sponsors and the industry can now prepare for 2021 and the fans also know when they can get in Supercross mode.”
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