Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth-area businesses bracing for coronavirus

As of March 13, tickets were still available for a trio of NASCAR races at the Texas Motor Speedway on March 27, 28 and 29. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
As of March 13, tickets were still available for a trio of NASCAR races at the Texas Motor Speedway on March 27, 28 and 29. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

As of March 13, tickets were still available for a trio of NASCAR races at the Texas Motor Speedway on March 27, 28 and 29. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Updated at 7:42 p.m. March 16:

The Texas Motor Speedway announced March 16 the cancellation of NASCAR-related race activities from March 27-29. Race activities will be held at a date TBD, according to a Texas Motor Speedway, news release.

"Public safety comes first," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said in the release. "As soon as we have information on the reschedule date, we will share it with our fans ...It's always the right time to do the right thing, and we're going to do the right thing by our fans."

Original:

NASCAR announced March 13 plans to postpone upcoming races in Atlanta and Miami.


As of March 13, tickets were still available for a trio of NASCAR races at the Texas Motor Speedway on March 27, 28 and 29.

“NASCAR has decided to postpone the race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend and Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend,” the organization said. “We believe this decision is in the best interest of the safety and well-being of our fans, competitors, officials and everyone associated with our sport. We will continue to monitor this dynamic situation as we assess future race events.”

Meanwhile, the Texas Motor Speedway released a statement March 12 in relation to the coronavirus. The stadium plans to add hand-washing stations in select places, deep-clean high-traffic areas and distribute hand sanitizer at events.

The speedway is still preparing to host regularly scheduled events, the statement said. If a race is canceled, officials said they will attempt to find fans tickets to a future race. Refunds will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The Texas Motor Speedway has a capacity of 181,000 fans. The 1.5-mile track has hosted NASCAR events yearly since 1997.

For co-owner of Comfort Suites in Roanoke, Tina Patel, the writing is on the wall.

The rental rate, usually at maximum capacity, has dropped by 40% headed into the weekend, Patel said. If NASCAR follows suit and cancels events at the Texas Motor Speedway, it could mean 10s of thousands of dollars, she said.

"That's a serious hit," Patel said. "And with schools closing parents are going to stay home, and people that do corporate travel aren't going to go out."

The situation has created additional factors for businesses, including a shortage of products, Patel said. Vendors have run out of hand sanitizer, and local stores are out of stock on hygiene items, such as sanitizing sprays and Clorox wipes, she said.

"We have to nip it in the bud, and I guess this is the best way to do it," she said. "Hopefully everything will calm down, and we'll get back to some sense of normal."
By Ian Pribanic
Ian Pribanic covers city government, transportation, business and education news for Community Impact Newspaper in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth areas. A Washington D.C. native and University of North Texas graduate, Ian was previously an editor for papers in Oklahoma, West Texas and for Community Impact in New Braunfels.


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