The coronavirus pandemic has caused the cancellation of another large-scale event in Coachella Valley: The Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells La Quinta.
The event had been scheduled for December 6.
In a post on the city's Facebook page, La Quinta officials announced:
With the health and safety of our community being an utmost priority, and in alignment with public health agencies and local authorities in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to advise that the IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells-La Quinta triathlon, originally scheduled for December 6, cannot take place in 2020 and will return on December 5, 2021.All registered athletes of the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells-La Quinta triathlon will be receiving an email with further information. If you have additional questions or do not receive the email with further information, please contact email@example.com. While we are prevented from holding the event in 2020, we thank you for your commitment and look forward to providing you with an exceptional race experience in the future.City of La Quinta Facebook page
The City of Indian Wells also posted the message on social media.
The Ironman page had touted the Coachella Valley event as "The grand finale of the North American circuit," saying "this race has already won over the hearts of many. The new bike course will take athletes through beautiful flat county roads while they soak up the warm California sun."
This would have been the third year for the event in Coachella Valley.
In 2018, road closures caused traffic headaches in areas of the race route. The 2019 event brought fewer traffic disruptions and complaints.
Statement from Mayor Linda Evans & City Council of La Quinta:
"The health and safety of our residents, not only in La Quinta, but throughout the Coachella Valley remains our priority. City staff along with IRONMAN staff worked with Dr. Kaiser, Riverside County Public Health Officer to determine the feasibility of hosting IRONMAN in December in a safe manner. Out of an abundance of caution, we collectively decided it was in the best interest of our community and the participants involved to postpone the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells La Quinta until 2021. We will miss having the event, the athletes, and their friends and family in our City. But, we want to continue to ensure the safety of everyone from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to hosting this event in 2021 and will welcome triathletes from around the world with open arms."