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Fans will be welcomed back this week at the Nation’s Site of Excitement.
Based on the latest guidance from the state, Thunder Road can have limited fan attendance at the Barre race track for Thursday’s Aubuchon Hardware Holiday Spectacular.
It will be the first event permitted at the track with front gate attendance since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Monday’s news release from Thunder Road officials.
Thunder Road’s seating area will be divided into sections, per the agreement with the state, with a cap on tickets sold per section. Spectators are required to remain in their section for the duration of the event.
Thunder Road managing partner Cris Michaud said it was “another big step in the right direction.”
“Our fans have been incredibly supportive of us the last two weeks while we’ve been doing the pay-per-view only format,” Michaud said in a statement, “and we’re excited some of them will finally get the chance to be at the track again.”
The release did not give an exact count on tickets that will be available. In a follow-up email, a Thunder Road spokesman declined to provide that number. In normal times, full seating capacity is 9,500.
According to the updated policy from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, social and event gatherings are capped at 150 people outdoors. However, Thunder Road is a large venue and may be able to accommodate several groups of 150 because of separate entrances and exits — if those groups don’t intermingle, said Lindsay Kurrle, the ACCD’s secretary.
“They have been given the guidance and as long as they can follow the guidance, along with all the health and safety requirements that all employers must follow as per our work safe memo, they are permitted to host sporting events with spectators,” Kurrle said in an email late Monday.
Season pass-holders will be given priority for seating, the news release said. The remaining tickets will be sold in advance on a first-come-first-serve basis. Tickets will not be sold at the track.
Admission is $15 for adults and $3 for kids ages 6-12. For ticket information, call 802-244-6963, ext. 1.
How else can you watch on Thursday?
Northeast Sports Network (NSN) will still offer pay-per-view live coverage of the event as well as other races “for the foreseeable future,” Thunder Road’s news release said. The cost of Thursday’s broadcast on NSN is $15.
“NSN has done a great job for us in a tough situation,” Michaud said. “We realize that, with the limits on ticket sales, not everyone will be able to attend who wants to — and understandably, some people might not yet feel safe attending. By continuing the pay-per-view, everyone still has the opportunity to watch all the action at the Nation’s Site of Excitement in some form.”
Thursday’s races are scheduled to start at 7. A full lineup is on tap for the Late Models, Flying Tigers, Street Stocks and Road Warriors divisions.
This story may be updated.
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