Everything You Need To Know About the 2021 Supercross Schedule

Well, we've got dates and locations for the first 12 rounds of the season. Listen in for a lot more of the details. You can pick and choose the answers to questions that mean the most to you.

Everything You Need To Know About the 2021 Supercross Schedule

Whew! We’re finally done with rumors and innuendo, and have some solid dates and venues for the ’21 Supercross season. As had been widely speculated, it’ll start a little later than normal, in mid-January. And for the first time in maybe a quarter-century, it’ll be an “East Coast” start, with the 250 East guys launching first.

2021 Supercross Schedule 

January 16 – NRG Stadium; Houston, TX (East)
January 19 – NRG Stadium; Houston, TX (East)
January 23 – NRG Stadium; Houston, TX (East)
January 30 – Lucas Oil Stadium; IN (East)
February 2 – Lucas Oil Stadium; IN (East)
February 20 – State Farm Stadium; Glendale, AZ (West)
February 23 – State Farm Stadium; Glendale, AZ (West)
February 27 – State Farm Stadium; Glendale, AZ (West)
March 6 – Daytona International Speedway;  Daytona Beach, FL (East)
March 20 – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX  (West)
March 23 – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX  (West)
March 27 – AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX  (West)
Round 13 – Date and Location TBA
Round 14 – Date and Location TBA
Round 15 – Date and Location TBA
Round 16 – Date and Location TBA
Round 17 – Date TBA, Rice-Eccles Stadium; Salt Lake City, UT

Obviously, the 2020 season was interrupted by the pandemic, and the Feld guys did a great job of not only getting the season restarted after everything shut down, but also getting the season completed with the extended run of races in Salt Lake City’s “bubble.” That experience also laid the groundwork for what we’ll see in ’21. First up, we’ll drop the schedule here, and then run through some of the questions and answers that surround the new season. The moto media got a chance to quiz Dave Prater, Feld Entertainment’s Senior Director of Two-Wheel Operations, for what’s going on.

Dave Prater (right) with Kenneth Feld.

Oh...and for those who are curious, yes, there will be KTM Jr. Supercross races this season, and they'll likely be limited to Saturday rounds, to make it easier for the families who will be traveling to events. More details will follow.

Dave's introduction.

The day the music stopped in Indy.

Obviously Salt Lake City worked well, and we’ve seen the model of every team in a pod. We’re now going to have fans, but will the pits be open? Are there going to be pods like Salt Lake? What are the protocols going forward?

The easiest way to describe it today is that it's a Salt Lake City model that we're going to introduce fans into.

It looks like the schedule's built if those other rounds 13-16 aren't filled, is that kind of the default to have that finale, those last five rounds in Salt Lake City as we did last year if you can't find venues?

Honestly, we knew we needed to get a schedule out there. We needed to give everyone in the industry time to plan...

You're open to single event stadiums those last few rounds?

Eli Tomac, the '20 champ, back at Tampa. Remember when elbow-to-elbow wasn't just for the riders, but the fans in the stands?

What is that capacity number that would allow you guys to make that a choice?

So we said it's somewhat of the Salt Lake City plan, but introducing fans. Would the riders and teams still have to test each time for Covid when they come in and out? That obviously made it tough on them to go back and test and train and things like that at their home base. So how's that going to work with these rounds?

For the cities that you have announced so far, what were some of the factors that led to having three in Houston, two in Indianapolis, three in Glendale, and three in Arlington? What was it about those stadiums, or those states, or those cities? What made those the ones that you ultimately went with?

We  were talking to all of those venues on our original schedule, as well as venues we had raced before, and even some venues we had never raced at...

It's strange. The Salt Lake City plan was so different from what riders and teams were used to, but I think they ended up liking it. I know you've probably had a lot of communication with them. Were they all saying, "Could you please do the weekday races," or multiple things in one stadium, because it seems like it's a plan that they've all decided they like...even though they were forced into it at first.

I don't know that anyone was begging for it, or asking for it, but there was no pushback whatsoever...

I'm curious how the Monster Jam event went in Arlington, what kind of percentage of fans they were allowed there, and what kind of crowd turned out. I'm curious about the confidence of fans to attend events like this.

We were at 20 percent capacity...

Obviously, we're used to seeing California rounds at the beginning of the series, and there's usually a good concentration of them. Is there hope for the California fans?

I wish I could say. I don't have my crystal ball.

Chase Sexton will make his 450 SX debut in mid-January.

This is one of the most unique schedules that we've ever seen for the sport, for obvious reasons. The Super Tuesday events and the blocks in the schedule. Is that something that you'll be taking into account and these types of things could be here to stay into the longer term?

Although it's a forced experiment, it's an experiment...

Does the more limited capacity in terms of spectators make it more ideal to revisit the same location multiple times in a week? 

Supercross Futures won't be part of the 2021 program. People thought this would be a mainstay just because of the revenue that it brings in for you. Can you explain the decision to shelve it for 2021, and what you guys will do to help riders score their advancement points?

This is one that was bounced back and forth probably more times than the venues that we were trying to lock down...

You've been a part of the Supercross family for years. How have these last eight months been for you? I mean, this has got to be completely turning your job on end once a week.

We've had zero downtime...

How does it feel? You guys have been working hard for this, and faced a lot of trials and setbacks. To know that you have a schedule, and to see the overwhelming positive reaction.

"It almost feels like Christmas day..."

AT&T Stadium will host a trio of races in '21.

The first question I have are about the breaks. They're a little longer than normal. The schedule's always known to be a grind. What was the theory behind where you placed the breaks and making them a little longer this year.

To be honest, we went into it hopeful that it would lay out like it did...

Based on what you learned in Salt Lake City about making track changes, can you be more aggressive with those changes than you were? Or do you think you have a good solid pattern on how to do that?

We got a first look at all of those just the other day, and to be honest, my first impression was, "Oh, those are some aggressive changes..."

I noticed there wasn't an announcement about a triple crown or East/West Showdowns. Is that coming soon? Or are we holding off on that for this year?

We're hoping we can get a little bit better idea of what that schedule looks like after Easter before we start locking those in place...

Are you developing an interest in carrying mid-week races over to when thing go back to "normal?" It gives an opportunity to maybe add some more rounds, or add more breaks. Is it something you're considering for '22 and beyond?

...anything and everything is on the table...

Real fans > virtual fans.

Have you talked to any of the teams or athletes on that particular cadence of Sunday/Wednesday (like with the '20 schedule in Salt Lake City), or Saturday/Tuesday ('21 schedule) races?

I think now that they've all lived it, and they've all experienced it in Salt Lake City for those seven rounds, I think they're much more comfortable with it...

Can you talk about the TV schedule and how the Tuesday races will factor in?

...other than trying to get those weekday races kinda prime time for live event fans more than anything else, just to give them an opportunity to get home from work and make it to the stadium...

Was Tuesday something NBC/Feld wanted to do? Why not Wednesday, Thursday, or was it just a random pick for Tuesday?

You race that first event, you get a two-day break, and race again...

Obviously, we're hoping those TBA rounds are in California. I think you are, and the series in general would love for it to be. If it's not in California, do you see us going back to the cities already listed? What do you think if we can't go to California? Back to some of those ones? Or new ones?

Even in a normal year, going to a new venue is challenging...

I didn't mean new cities that have never held Supercross before, I meant new stadiums that are not Glendale, Dallas, Houston, etc.

We'll admit, it was odd to see crowd-free stands when it was time to go racing in Salt Lake City.

There were several schedule options being talked about. Which one are we on?

I'm not sure what number letter P is, but we're on letter P...

Are you shooting for a drop-dead final date?

Our drop-dead date for the finals would be May 8th. Again, that could change...

We saw a variety of thing in Salt Lake City. Do you know start times yet?

I can tell you there are a couple of day races...

Was there ever a fear that you wouldn't even be able to get a 2021 season going?

I don't think we ever had that fear...

We're looking forward to the days when we see packed stands again.

Addressing the rumor mill...

We are not for sale. Supercross is not being sold...

You guys were the first that showed this could actually be done, with Salt Lake City. College football, we've seen some madness in the stands...I'm sure you guys have tried to learn from that, as well. Tickets went on sale today. What can you say to families that are thinking of taking their kids to Supercross looking for a safe event, and how do you enforce that? How it's going to be as normal as it can be, and safely?

We've always held ourselves to a high standard. We've got to raise that standard...

Some states, like Georgia, are widely open. But some of the major cities are closed with local governments. When you deal with state vs. local vs. federal, how does that trickle down? Where's the hierarchy of who you deal with, and who makes the final say?

From what we've seen, the local governments are making the final say...

Atlanta? Yes or no?

We've got our fingers crossed to see some Atlanta rounds...or California rounds...or East Coast...or Midwest...

How does this work financially? Are you getting breaks from the stadiums? Will you take a major hit financially because the way the schedule plays out?

There's no way around it...we're definitely going to be taking a hit...

When do tickets go on sale?

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