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Watkins Glen open again, optimistic for NASCAR weekend

Track president Michael Printup says most of the employees who were furloughed because of the pandemic have returned to work.
Credit: AP
A NASCAR Cup Series auto race is held on Aug. 5, 2018, in Watkins Glen, N.Y. New York will allow horse racing tracks and Watkins Glen International car track to reopen with the easing of the coronavirus outbreak, but without fans.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Watkins Glen International is open again for racing in upstate New York.

Track president Michael Printup says most of the employees who were furloughed because of the pandemic have returned to work.

Printup says it's too early to speculate, but if all goes according to plan he estimates the track could host at least 20,000 fans for NASCAR weekend in mid-August.

 That will snap a string of five consecutive sellouts that has attracted more than 90,000 fans annually. It would still be a welcome boost for the local economy.

There's no word yet on when fans will be allowed to attend.  The state issued guidelines on Wednesday for the reopening of professional sports, which stated, in part, that "no live audience, fans, or spectators are allowed to attend or permitted to enter any professional sports venue, even if an outdoor venue." 

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