The Red Cedar Speedway will not be having any races this summer.
The Red Cedar Racing Association announced on Facebook Wednesday that it had been informed by the Dunn County administration that the racetrack would remain closed through the end of the racing season. The racing association said it will now move forward with plans for next season after it was unable to get support from the Dunn County Board of Supervisors for a shortened season last month.
“The RCRA would like to thank our race teams, fans, supporters, sponsors, businesses, Wissota Auto Racing and the RCRA board for all the hard work and support in our quest to open the RCS for 2020,” the Red Cedar Racing Association said.
On June 17 the county board of supervisors voted 18-11 against a resolution to adopt a shortened season along with operational guidelines established by the racing association to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The resolution had been approved by the county facilities committee and executive committee prior to coming before the supervisors.
“We’ve got our experts in our area that are telling us how we should handle this pandemic and that right now has to do with having small gatherings of no more than a certain amount of people,” Supervisor Sheila Stori said last month. “This is totally contrary to that, and as leadership in this county I don’t want to be responsible for approving something that could possibly mean a spike in the COVID virus.”
The proposed schedule was to begin racing on June 19 with the season concluding on September 25-26. In the voted down proposal the racing association would not exceed 50 percent capacity of the grandstand for the first two races. This would have allowed the sale of up to 732 tickets. Proposed was an increase to 75 percent capacity, or 1,098 tickets, for races July 10, 17 and 24. From July 31 through the end of the season the racing association asked to be allowed to sell tickets that would fill the grandstand’s capacity. Current guidance from the Dunn County Health Department is to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people in an outdoor setting.
Guidelines in the racing association proposal included sanitation initiatives, the use of plexiglass barriers on ticket booths and concessions and the use of temperature scanners for all employees and attendees. Other race tracks owned by counties in both Douglas and Shawano counties have met agreements and have been holding races this summer.
The decision by the Dunn County board left open the possibility of bring forth a new proposal for approval at the next meeting on July 29. Following the decision last month the racing association said it would appeal and try to work out another plan. This week it was informed the racetrack would remain closed through end of the season.
The racing association is expecting to announce plans for the 2021 season, including a revised lease agreement with Dunn County for use of the racetrack on Aug. 1. Racing at Red Cedar Speedway is expected to remain on Friday nights and sanctioned by WISSOTA.
“”We appreciate all your help with reaching out to county board members to get our voice heard, gathering factual information and preparing the countless pages of documentation supporting a safe opening,” the racing association said in a message to fans. “The RCRA is currently engaged in the future of racing at the RCS and are working hard on many improvements to come back in 2021 better than ever.”
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