SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Spokane County will cut ties with the operator of the Spokane County Raceway as limitations imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic hamper racing’s sustainability.
The Spokesman-Review reports that this week the county Board of Commissioners is expected to terminate its agreement with Raceway Investments.
Raceway Investments is operated by CEO Craig Smith, who asked county officials for an early exit. The agreement was originally set to expire after the 2021 racing season.
“After much discussion with my team members I have come to the reality that it is not going to be feasible to do any events at the race track for 2021,” Smith wrote to Spokane County Parks Director Doug Chase.
Only 200 people would be allowed at racing events under current guidelines. The grandstands at Spokane County Raceway was built to accommodate more than 8,000 spectators. The park spans more than 300 acres and includes a racing oval, road course, and drag strip that typically host races from the spring through the fall.
Spokane County purchased the track, located in Airway Heights, in 2008.
The original 10-year agreement with Raceway Investments was set to expire in early 2020. Commissioners voted to extend the agreement in early 2020 to cover the year’s racing season, then approved another one-year extension last October.
The cancellation of the 2021 season should allow county officials to reconsider the site’s future, which was already in question before the pandemic hit.