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Salt Lake City riots threaten Supercross restart

The Salt Lake City disturbances on Saturday

Riots in Salt Lake City just a few miles from the Supercross track in Rice-Eccles Stadium are threatening the return to professional racing today. After a three month halt to the AMA Supercross series due to Covid-19, the series is scheduled to start today with all seven rounds in Utah with no spectators allowed.

But yesterday, a peaceful demonstration against the unlawful killing of George Floyd turned into rioting. The National Guard was called in and an 8pm curfew was enforced. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall set the curfew from 8pm Saturday until 6am on Monday, but said it could end early if people comply with the order to stay off the streets. The curfew came in response to protests inspired by the recent police killing of Floyd in Minneapolis that turned violent. 

There have been riots across many US cities and police have made nearly 1,400 arrests in 17 US cities since Thursday. It’s hoped there is no repeat of the unrest today which could have an impact on the race which is already being held behind closed doors.

The scene in Salt Lake City

University of Utah Health announced as a result of the curfew, it would be closing Covid-19 testing sites which are an essential part of the Supercross plan. Teams and riders are at the track but not everyone has managed to get in yet. Every person must have a Covid-19 test, and the results are taking up to a day to process. So many of the personnel are having to wait outside the stadium until they get their test results. Supplies and race kit is being passed over a fence to the race teams until everyone gets their medical green light. The curfew might mean not everyone gets in.

Photos: Larry Curtis/ KUTV