STURGIS, S.D. – The Sturgis City Council on a 6 to 3 vote last night approved entering into a proposal with American Flat Trackers to hold a race on the final day of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The controversial issue has been a topic of discussion since September.
The initial plan was to hold the race on the final Saturday of the Rally, but logistics and opposition from Main Street businesses was a concern. The new plan is to hold the race on August 11th, which would be the final day of the rally.
American Flat Trackers staff would also be responsible for set up and tear down – alleviating another concern that Sturgis Public Works crews would be responsible when they are already busy with Rally cleanup.
Despite the changes, most public comment was in opposition to the event, with concerns on whether or not the city would see a profit from the event.
The cost of putting on the event for the city is an estimated $653,700 per year in a five-year contract. Mayor Mark Carstensen clarified the cost.
Carstensen says the intent is to increase rally presence.
But Councilor Kevin Forrester worries about the unknowns with the event and the numerous other projects Sturgis has.
The vote to begin the process of holding the annual event passed on a 6 to 3 vote. Tony Dargatz, Kevin Forrester and Aaron Jordan voted no. Future action, including a contract between the City and American Flat Trackers, will be among future action by the council.