FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — University of Arkansas officials tell organizers with Bikes, Blues, and BBQ it will “terminate the license agreement” that would allow the organization to use university parking lots for this year’s event.
Mark Rushing, a spokesperson with the University of Arkansas said, “we have determined and informed the organizers of the BB&BBQ event that we believe it is in the best interest of the community that we terminate the license agreement that would have allowed organizers to use university parking lots for this year`s event.”
The termination comes one day after a letter from Washington Regional Medical Center was sent to the Fayetteville Board of Health and Mayor requesting that the city postpone the annual Bikes, Blues and BBQ (BBB) motorcycle rally in light of a surge in hospitalizations due to the Delta variant.
This year’s event was planned to take place in the parking lot at Baum-Walker stadium.
The letter states “to hold such an event at a moment when our region’s healthcare systems are overwhelmed responding to the latest surge in hospitalizations resulting from the Delta variant of the COVID-19 is to invite further disaster,” wrote Washington Regional’s chief medical officer, Dr. David G. Ratliff, in a letter, addressed to Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan and city health officer Dr. Marti Sharkey.
Ratliff, writing on behalf of Washington Regional, noted that the hospital has historically ramped up its Emergency Department and Trauma staff to cover Bikes, Blues and BBQ-related cases.
In South Dakota, coronavirus cases quintupled after the Sturgis motorcycle rally, prompting concerns Northwest Arkansas could experience a similar surge after BBB.
KNWA/FOX24 has reached out to Bikes, Blues, and BBQ about the status of the event but has yet to hear back.
This is a developing story, stay with KNWA/FOX24 news as we learn more.