HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. (WKRN) — Around 6,000 people have convened on Loretta Lynn’s Ranch for the Annual Motocross Championship, where a number of changes have been put in place to keep the race on track.
The event in Hurricane Mills now in it’s 39th year, has been the most stressful for organizers as they adhere to the guidelines for the Tennessee Pledge.
“Oh my god, it has been very, very stressful,” Tim Cotter MX Sports Event Director told News 2.
The AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, however is revved up and rolling on. Cotter said they started with a “safe to race task force” seeking guidance from medical professionals on hosting a competition like this in the midst of pandemic. Once given the green light from the Tennessee State Health Department, they created a marketing campaign encouraging social distancing and masks.
“In our starting area, in our mechanics area, on our towers everyone has to be masked up and we can control that. Everywhere outside of that we can’t control that, but certainly the message is out there. Those people know what the government requires or suggests, what we suggest,” explained Cotter.
While they have tripled security to help enforce the guidelines in those areas, he admits that in others attendees don’t seem phased by the pandemic.
“I think everybody is getting use to it. It’s becoming the norm you see people walking around with masks and that’s a habit they have to get into,” said Conrad Eigenmann who was in attendance at the event.
Organizers cancelled some of the events nightly gatherings and struggled to find a big named musician to perform this year, while sponsors like Honda called off having an official presence at the event citing COVID concerns.
“Honda has been here for almost all 39 years. Honda elected not to come. Their company has a travel ban,” he explained.
He added that at least one additional sponsor pulled out of this year’s event, but in the end he said there are more vendors and sponsors than ever before.
The championship continues through Saturday and they are checking temperatures at the entrance.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.
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(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )