WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Bowman-Gray Stadium officials have announced the postponement of the quarter-mile oval’s season opener, originally scheduled for April 17.
The decision comes after the March 23 announcement by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper of the COVID-19 restrictions that will be in place for Bowman Gray Stadium and other large venues until April 30.
While the overall maximum capacity has been raised to 50 percent, Governor Cooper has also mandated that all spectators should remain seated and must have six feet of distance between groups.
Due to the nature of the bleacher seating at Bowman Gray Stadium, the mandated six feet of distance severely limits the amount of spectators who are able to be seated in accordance with these restrictions.
“Although management has explored every feasible option within Bowman Gray Stadium, a seating arrangement that allows the track to seat even 20 percent of its maximum capacity has not yet been found,” a track statement read. “An attendance this low is not economically feasible and would be disadvantageous to the city of Winston-Salem, concession vendors, and souvenir vendors – not to mention our valued track sponsors, car sponsors, racing competitors, and fans.
“For this reason, we were forced to postpone our pre-season practices and our season opening event originally scheduled for April 17,” the statement continued. ” We are hopeful that the COVID-19 situation improves and that health guidelines allow for the social distancing rules to be adjusted. We’re excited to go back racing once those guidelines do improve.”