British Speedway has confirmed the cancellation of professional league speedway in the UK for 2020.
Locally, the decision has affected the Belle Vue Aces, who will be unable to take to the track in the Premiership League at the National Speedway Stadium under manager Mark Lemon.
The following statement was uploaded to British Speedway's official website:
It can now be confirmed with great reluctance and disappointment that professional league speedway in the UK has been cancelled for 2020.
This news comes following the announcements made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last Friday which stated October as the target date for crowds to return to sporting stadia.
This does not give enough time for a full season of league racing to be staged.
In the meantime work will continue on the grassroots level of the sport and clubs have been invited to gain the necessary permission from their local council to stage some form of racing before the end of October.
Rob Godfrey, Chairman of British Speedway Promoters Ltd, said: “We would like to offer our sincere appreciation for the supportive attitude shown to us from our broadcast partners Eurosport.
“They have been very understanding of this most difficult situation for the sport.“
Promoters up and down the country have worked 24/7 to try and give themselves every opportunity to stage league racing this season and I take my hat off to all those who have shown a positive attitude throughout.
“We have never given up and it is only the announcement from the Prime Minister on Friday that has left us with no choice.
“It is also important for us to thank all the riders who have remained patient throughout all of this, they have been left in an extremely difficult situation and our thoughts are with them all.
“In addition, the loyal sponsors throughout the country must also be acknowledged, their support is much appreciated by clubs and we must also thank all supporters of this wonderful sport in this country.
“We must now embrace the future and look forward with a positive attitude as we look to grow British Speedway.
“I would also like to thank everyone for their support of the Monday night stream of past meetings and the Friday night quiz.
“We actively continue to keep the sport in the public eye in the build-up to 2021 and our social media channels will continue to engage with followers and provide regular content.”
Jamie Steward, Senior Director of Production and Broadcast, Eurosport UK said: “Whilst very disappointing, we are fully supportive of what has been a difficult decision to make in these unprecedented times.
“We remain committed to speedway and we are already working in collaboration with the BSP Ltd to deliver the best possible viewing experience to passionate fans across all Eurosport platforms in 2021 and beyond.”
Further details of fixtures at those tracks which can and decide to stage meetings in August, September and October will be provided via the British Speedway website, media service and social media channels.
However, it's not all bad news, as the National Speedway Stadium will host the FIM Speedway of Nations Final on the 24th and 25th October 2020.