The World of Outlaws and Eldora Speedway have rescheduled the 37th annual Kings Royal Weekend to July 2021.
The legendary half-mile dirt oval’s marquee World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series event was originally slated for July 15-18, but the Ohio Department of Health’s orders restricting mass gatherings and spectator events at large venues remains in effect as a part of the state’s overall response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
“Governor Mike DeWine text me to deliver the unfortunate news,” said Roger Slack, general manager of Eldora Speedway. “While acknowledging the importance of our events, especially for Darke County, he stated the orders in place continue to prohibit spectators from motorsports events.
“As we’ve said all along, the fastest way for our race fans to return to the track is for each of us to practice social distancing, wear our masks or cloth face coverings, and practice good hygiene – especially by frequently washing our hands.
“We remain in constant communication with state officials regarding other upcoming events at Eldora as we work to bring fans back to our facility as soon and as safely as possible, all while adhering to the mandates issued by the Ohio Department of Health.”
Eldora and Series officials, who have been working with local and state officials since April to establish re-opening guidance, submitted a detailed proposal to Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Darke County General Health District, for the return of spectator events at 50 percent capacity during the months of July and August.
The proposal included key learnings from Eldora’s lone race of the 2020 season, a restricted-access competitor-only contest, The Dirt Late Model Stream, held June 4-6. The non-spectator event operated in accordance with a strict Event Protocol developed by Eldora in concert with the world’s top motorsports sanctioning bodies which was reviewed and approved by both the Darke County General Health District and the Ohio Department of Health.
With the encouragement of state officials, Eldora extended its self-imposed deadline to announce a decision on the Kings Royal from June 19 to June 24. When the date passed without approval from state officials, Eldora submitted a “Restart/Reseat Reserved Seat Map” further reducing capacity to just 17.76 percent and submitted it to Governor DeWine Thursday morning.
However, with the Ohio Department of Health’s current orders and with reopening guidance yet to be established by Responsible RestartOhio, spectators remain prohibited from grandstands at Ohio’s large venues – including Eldora Speedway.
The Large Venue Advisory Group, announced by Governor DeWine on May 12, is chaired by Paul Dolan, CEO of the Cleveland Indians. It includes representatives from Ohio’s teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MiLB, ECHL, MLS, The Memorial PGA Tournament, the Ohio State University, the Mid America Conference, and concert promoter Live Nation. The full membership can be found here: Responsible RestartOhio – Large Venues
Race fans should retain all tickets, credentials, passes and receipts they have received to date for the 37th Kings Royal Weekend. All advance tickets, pit passes, campsites and suite admissions for the 37th Kings Royal will be honored for the rescheduled date in July 2021.
Information, including frequently asked questions with answers, is available at https://www.eldoraspeedway.com/kings-royal-covid/
Officials will continue to use the “When We Know, You’ll Know” policy regarding event information and will communicate updates direct to patron accounts as it becomes available here, on EldoraSpeedway.com, and via official World of Outlaws and Eldora social channels.
-Eldora Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo