After months of speculation, the Sturgis City Council voted Monday to support the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Preparing for the inevitable, as the city of Sturgis does not own or control the rally, the city council approved a plan to manage the event in the COVID-19 era best.
Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie presented the council with four options for the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally–1. Cancel the Rally; 2. Postpone and Prepare; 3. Modified 80th; 4. Hold the 80th. By an overwhelming majority, the city council voted to implement option 3–Modified 80th.
Here are the restrictions in Ainslie’s report:
- Cancel opening ceremonies
- Cancel activities (5k, contests, etc.)
- Cancel use of fairgrounds
- Cancel B-1 flyover
- Cancel photo towers
- Cancel noon and 5 p.m. photos
- Cancel H-D Rally Point bands
- Cancel H-D Rally Point contest
- No bike parking on sides from Junction to 3rd to allow for plazas and outdoor seating
Ainslie’s report also included safeguards to be implemented:
- PPE stockpiled for local businesses
- Purchase PPE for employees
- Sanitation stations along Main Street
- Increased sanitation of PortaPots
- Disinfect sidewalks
Vendors will be working with the following restrictions:
- Guidelines for distancing at register
- Guidelines for PPE
- Guidelines of occupancy
City rides will still happen, though advertising will be pulled to lower the number of attendees at the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
These guidelines were the result of the monitoring of infection rates locally and in surrounding areas, a survey of Sturgis households, consultation with over 100 agencies in the Black Hills region, discussion with state and county officials, local health care providers, the local school district, a community town hall meeting, and rally fans.
Nearly a half-million people participated in the 2019 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, according to estimates, with an economic impact over $655 million.
The 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is scheduled to run from August 7-16. Sturgis Buffalo Chip is already boasting a concert lineup that includes ZZ Top, Puddle of Mud, Black Label Society, Ratt, Eagles of Death Metal, Buckcherry, Lita Ford, and the Reverend Horton Heat.