The Minnesota Senate passed a bill Sunday to assist Canterbury Park and Running Aces as they prepare to start their racing seasons without spectators.

The legislation, which passed 65-2, temporarily reduces the tracks’ portion of regulatory fees. It also changes the number of live racing days required to operate a card club. The bill allows the tracks to run fewer than 50 days per year, the current standard, if there are “circumstances beyond the licensee’s control.”

The bill was approved by the Minnesota House on Friday 97-34. The original version contained a provision that would have allowed Minnesota residents to bet on in-state racing, but that language was removed before the initial hearing.

Canterbury plans a 52-day racing season starting June 10, and Running Aces has proposed a 50-day harness racing season starting June 20. Both tracks must receive government approval to open, and both expect to race with no spectators or limited attendance.

RACHEL BLOUNT