Ohio Racecourse Owner Commits to Reopening

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“I’m not asking, I’m opening,” he said in the video, saying he thought the business closings were an overreaction. “If in Huron County, for example, we are able to save all lives and limit and ultimately alleviate the epidemics of Covid-19, but in this process we are all starving to death have we accomplished. “

Bader said in an interview with HLN’s Robin Meade on Friday that he can safely host events now and maintain social distance between spectators.

He said the stands at the Norwalk, Ohio, track could accommodate up to 30,000 people for drag racing and that he planned to hold smaller events with a crowd of about 6,000. fans.

“We have half a million visitors to the trail each year, and I don’t think I will be setting attendance records this year,” he said. “What we do is we watch events that are manageable, where we can social distance. “

He said the track had about 100 events on the calendar this year, but he now hopes to host 18 to 20 smaller ones.

Bader plans to publish the track calendar next week.

He told Meade that he could not afford to wait for the government to lift restrictions on coronaviruses.

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“Obviously, I don’t know when the order to stay home will be lifted, but if I don’t open this year, I will be bankrupt,” he said.

Bader, 52, said the track has been in the family since 1974 and that he has been working on it since the age of 10.

The track normally has 26 full-time employees and hires 430 event staff. Bader said he had to fire all but three of his employees, who were cut in wages.

“The hardest day of my life was several weeks ago Friday, when I basically had to fire the whole company,” he said. “It was an incredibly painful day that I often think about and haunt me. “

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