Safely open Ontario's motorsports facilities to fans

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The owners and promoters of Ontario's motorsports facilities have worked together to write a set of guidelines that will allow racing fans to safely return to speedways and racetracks.

Without paying fans in attendance, the economics do not work for most racing facilities. As a result, the majority of Ontario's tracks have remained dormant most weekends this season.

With Ontario in Stage 3 of reopening, outdoor facilities (including racetracks) are limited to groups of 100 – regardless of their size – which isn't enough to cover the tracks' operating expenses.

Most facilities have seating capacities between 3,000 and 10,000. Under the current guidelines, an Ontario racing facility with 5,000 seats is restricted to just 2% of its regular capacity.

Under the proposed guidelines, the tracks can maintain safe physical spacing between individuals and groups containing family/social bubbles, while accommodating well in excess of the currently permitted 100 fans.

Comparing the tracks’ situation to other industries and activities, malls are now permitted to have well over 100 customers at a time. Provincial parks can operate at a high percentage of their regular traffic, places of worship (indoors) are able to have 30% of their regular building capacity in attendance for their services. And 10-screen indoor movie theatres can have 500 paying customers inside their buildings.

We believe fairness dictates that the Ontario racing industry should be granted the same consideration to operate with physically-spaced fans in attendance, following the same safety protocols that are working at malls, movie theatres, parks, places of worship, etc.

The Ontario racing season is short and there are only a few months of summer left for these facilities to generate some revenues to help get them through to next Spring. Please expedite the review of the tracks’ plan for permitting their fans to safely return.