UPDATE: As of Thursday evening, CBS4 has learned that the Jefferson County Health Department will meet with representatives from Bandimere Speedway on Friday morning to try to reach an agreement regarding coronavirus safety at the venue.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A temporary restraining order will remain in effect, limiting crowds at Bandimere Speedway to 175 people per activity area, the judge ruled Thursday. Lawyers for both sides spent a portion of the hearing Wednesday morning discussing what constitutes an activity area.
There were cheers, but no victory as the Bandimere Speedway owner and attorney emerged from court.
Lawyer Randy Corporon told those gathered, “And we anxiously await and look forward to her ruling on July 21st.”
Jefferson County has asked for a temporary injunction requiring the speedway to file a COVID-19 safety plan for each event.
County officials issued the following statement Thursday:
“To clarify a requirement in the order, gatherings in outdoor venues in excess of 175 people per designated activity are banned. This is better understood as a designated activity area. Venues can use the state’s Social Distancing Calculator to determine how many individuals, up to a maximum of 175 people, could be more safely socially distanced in various areas, such as in a grandstand, so long as various safeguards are followed.”
Read the full order issued on Thursday here.
“Well, it’s a lot more complicated than that so we’re going to go because we have a lot to talk about between now and in a couple weeks with the ruling.”
Judge Tamara Russell will rule on Jefferson County’s request for a temporary injunction against the venue in two weeks, on July 21.
An activity area can mean part of the stands, the pits, the food area, however approved by the county. The areas must be at least 50 feet apart.
Last Saturday, there was an impressive July 4th fireworks display at Bandimere, along with races. But the county’s health director testified that a public order was violated by unmasked fans standing close together.
Instead of the 175 person maximum, there were more like 7,500.
John Bandimere and his attorney said Wednesday that the future of the longtime racetrack is at stake.
Randy Corporan, the attorney for the speedway told reporters, “Those numbers the county is talking about, 175 per activity, there’s no way it can survive.”
Corporan argued in court that there were signs directing patrons to be socially distant and sit in alternating rows at Bandimere on the 4th.
The county told the court it found health precautions taken on July 4th to be inadequate.
Corporan suggested that instead of a court order, they should sit down with the health department and work out a mutual agreement.
The county wants the speedway to be required to submit a COVID-19 safety plan for each event it hosts.
If the county wants to claim a violation of a temporary restraining order over last weekend’s show, that will require a separate hearing.
Bandimere supporters waited in the scorching heat outside the courthouse, many worried about the future of the track.
Bill Newman, a racer said, “I’m grateful that the judge recognized that we were supportive in a nonviolent manner.”
One other demonstrator, Andre Barabaa was critical, “How come Pepsi Center isn’t open, Elitch Gardens isn’t open, but Bandimere is?”
John Bandimere Jr. led lead a prayer outside the courthouse.
“God Bless America,” he said as others shouted, “Amen, Hallelujah!”