SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Prior to the pandemic forced events to cancel and businesses to shut down, Barrett-Jackson was able to put on its week-long 2020 Scottsdale auction with all of the bells, whistles, and horn honks that people expect.
Its auctions in Las Vegas, Nevada, and West Palm Beach, Florida were ultimately canceled, however. Last October, Barrett-Jackson held a smaller event with COVID-19 restrictions approved by the City of Scottsdale at WestWorld of Scottsdale. That event was limited to 6,000 people -- only consigners, bidders, and special guests.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Barrett-Jackson's January 2021 event was pushed to March 20-27, 2021, and is expected to go on as scheduled, albeit with the COVID-19 restrictions that most people should be familiar with: limited attendance, wearing masks, temperature screenings, enhanced cleaning, and pod-like seating areas for bidders and consigners.
CEO Craig Jackson said delaying the week-long event was the right move and that they've made a number of safety changes, but still kept some of the attractions that
the event is known for.
"The cars are all double-spaced out so people can come around the cars so you’re not all just congregating together. The bidder section is spaced out. The only thing is, especially during the peak times of the day, the general public can’t come into the auction arena because it's set up for the bidders. We’ve set up big screens outside, we’ve set-up the entire Equidome with big screens to view the auctions, but you still have all the vendors and sponsors, and ride and drives," said Jackson.
"Everything is big and free-flowing, but all the same exhibits, the great cars to look at, it’ll just be a little easier to move around," he said.
The public is able to purchase tickets and attend the event. If you go, here are the biggest changes to know about:
Limited capacity: Attendance will be reduced to 25% or fewer each day, including limiting the auction arena to no more than 5,000 people and limiting the Equidome to 2,500 people. In all other areas, attendance could be limited to as few as 15% capacity.
No access to auction block: The public will not be allowed to watch the auction from the arena/north hall. Only consigners, bidders, and their guests will be allowed
inside the auction area. A viewing area with a jumbotron will be set up near the Equidome.
COVID-19 safety: Everyone will undergo a temperature screening before being allowed inside the event. Also, masks are required except when stationary and actively eating or drinking. Social distancing will be enforced, hand sanitization stations will be located throughout the event, and signage and social distancing markers will be around the event.
No walk-up tickets: General admission tickets will be available online and in advance, but will not be available to purchase at the event. General admission varies between $25-$70 for adults and $12-$25 for children depending on the family. "Family day" is Saturday, March 20 and includes free kids admission with purchase of an adult admission ticket. The live auction does not start until Tuesday, March 23.
Things to do: Amid all the COVID-19 safety precautions, some of the extra activities that Barrett-Jackson is known for will still be there. There are several tents outside where people can walk around and view all of the different vehicles, Dodge will have test rides, Ram will have an off-road experience, there will be live music outdoors, and vendors will be set up to sell different auto upgrades and memorabilia, according to an online schedule.
Pod-like seating: Even though the public won't be allowed inside the auction block, organizers have added "cubed" seating pods for bidders, consigners, and their guests. Groups will be limited to 6-9 people and separated from other groups. On the auction block, the auctioneer and announcer will be separated with Plexiglass between them.
Jackson added that they're going to use a drone at the end of the night to spray disinfectant on all the chairs, and that the City of Scottsdale has added ionizers to most of the A/C units and cut off most of the return air that's usually pumped back into the building.
Visit www.barrett-jackson.com for ticket information, to view the current schedule, and to see all of the vehicles expected to hit the auction block.