Watkins Glen International preparing for racing season despite limited capacity

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) — Watkins Glen International and Governor Cuomo’s office continue to discuss options as racing season approaches, but the capacity for fans is limited to 20%.

Gov. Cuomo’s office announced on Apr. 14 that racing spectators will be subject to the State’s strict guidance, which is currently in effect for other professional sports competitions with fans. 

Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry and are subject to the State’s health and safety protocols on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

Michael Printup, President of Watkins Glen International, said the Governor’s office has been “very cooperative” throughout the process of allowing fans back to the racetrack.

“The Governor’s team is great and we have been working with them for years and years,” said Printup. “They are going off of data. We are going off of data. We are just trying to find that common ground to be able to do exactly what the New York State Fair did. [That is] open up with no proof of vaccination or tests. Even in a limited population, we are ready to go with that. But, we will put that request in next with the Governor and go from there.”

Printup said 2020 was a difficult year as racetracks lost tens of millions of dollars. However, he gets goosebumps just thinking of this upcoming summer.

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