Officials at Bonneville Raceway, where 20 people were arrested for investigation of incidents ranging from assault to inciting a riot in a disturbance Saturday, have agreed to prohibit spectators from parking in the pit area.
"Only racers will be able to drive into the pits from now on," manager Richard Godfrey said Tuesday.Three police officers and at least two spectators were injured in the fighting that broke out in the pit area when patrons turned against officers trying to make an arrest.
"This was all caused by a few people that drink too much, so what we're going to do is separate people from their cars, and, hopefully, that will solve the problem," Godfrey said.
Until now, a ticket to watch the drag races from the stands cost $12, and for an additional $3 fans could park in the pit area, which could accommodate 500 cars.
"We searched every car, and we eliminated the beer, but the hard liquor is pretty easy to hide," Godfrey said.
"We have just decided to quit letting cars in. There's never been a fight on the spectator side; it's always on the oval. We went through there last night and found all kinds of empty whiskey bottles," he said.
West Valley City Administrator John Newman said municipal leaders are happy with the move.
"By re-orienting the parking and not allowing people to go to their parked cars, those individuals who don't go to the races but who just go to party will be eliminated," Newman said.