What kind of impacts will coronavirus have on this years Gatornationals?

Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 5:42 PM EDT
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Growing concerns over the coronavirus have caused many cancellations across the united states at big events such as concerts and even some sporting events, but that doesn't appear to be the case at this year's Gatornationals.

The drag racing event attracts over 100 thousand people to North-Central Florida each year. Officials say even with the coronavirus concern, all events are proceeding as scheduled. They do say they've taken some extra precautions though.

Kasey Coler, General Manager for NHRA, says, "We're making sure that we've got a lot of extra sanitizer, extra wash stations. We're prepared. We've got a lot of messaging around the facility to remind folks to take the basic precautions as the CDC has mentioned."

If you were worried that some of the drivers might not travel due to concerns of coronavirus, worry no longer.

Coler says, "All of our drivers will be here. We will have over 500 cars participating. We haven't had a team or a driver back out. Everybody is excited to be here. This is Gainesville, this is Gatornationals. This is a major event on our schedule."

For local r-v parks and hotels, this is also one of their busiest weekends each year. Concerns about the virus don't seem to be affecting plans for race fans who are slated to stay at Dixieland RV Park in Waldo.

Vincent Judd, owner of the RV Park, says, "No, we have not had any cancellations. This is our biggest weekend of every year. The only concern from the guests arriving is that the event itself might be canceled. And were starting to get good news that there is absolutely no cancellation and they are moving forward as planned."

Officials also tell me that ticket sales have actually increased this year compared to years past, and they're expecting another huge weekend.

The drag racing events will get started this Thursday and last throughout the weekend.