Kentucky Derby To Have Spectators

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6/25/2020
8:19 am

Derby Opens Up

Churchill Downs announced Thusday morning that the 146th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve and Longines Kentucky Oaks will run with spectators under strict guidelines.

Kentucky Derby Week will be held Sept. 1-5 with the Oaks on Friday, Sept. 4 and the Derby on Saturday, Sept. 5.

Churchill Downs’ plan was developed in conjunction with advice and counsel set forth by the Louisville Metro Health Department and Kentucky’s Healthy at Work guidance. Some of the steps that will be taken to ensure guest and employee safety include:

  • Venue capacity reductions to limit overall crowd density, including general admission, outdoor reserved seating, premium dining and suites. More information on ticketing and seating areas will be released in the coming days and also will be sent directly to ticket holders.
  • General admission tickets will be limited to a specified number and only grant access to the infield. No general admission will be allowed in the “front side” or paddock areas of the facility.
  • Access throughout the facility will be severely limited.
  • Credentials for employees, media and guests will be reduced.
  • Barn area access will be restricted to essential personnel. Guests and parties in the barn area for morning workouts and during race days will be eliminated.
  • Changes in venue operations to limit person-to-person touch points.
  • Team member protocols established to protect employees and guests.
  • A revised Fan Code of Conduct that establishes expectations for guests coming to the Derby.

The Fan Code of Conduct involves a variety of steps. Guests will be consistently and frequently encouraged to wear a mask at all times unless seated in their reserved seat or venue. This includes when:

  • Riding on a shuttle
  • Traveling through the venue
  • Going to the restroom
  • Placing an in-person wager
  • Purchasing food or beverages from a concession stand

In addition, guests will be asked to wash their hands for 20 seconds or sanitize them frequently, and they will be encouraged to socially distance themselves from others when possible.

More detailed and additional information will be provided in the coming days online at www.KentuckyDerby.com/Updates.

“The impact of the Kentucky Derby extends well beyond the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs,” Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said. “It is an incredibly important time for the City of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky both culturally, economically and with respect to our time-honored traditions. Both employees and guests are asked to take an active role in following all guidelines. We must all do our part to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.”

Flanery also thanked state government for its work.

“We truly appreciate the leadership of the Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, and all of the hard work, collaboration and guidance that state and local officials and public health experts have provided us to safely and responsibly host Kentucky Derby Week in September with spectators,” said Flanery. “Our team is deeply committed to holding the very best Kentucky Derby ever, and we will take all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of all who attend and participate in the Derby. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have established a comprehensive set of operating procedures, which include a multitude of precautionary measures to be followed while fans are in attendance at our facility. We are determined to keep our customers, employees and communities as safe as we responsibly can.”

Tickets purchased for the originally scheduled Kentucky Derby Week dates are automatically valid for the new race dates. Guests may arrive on the new dates in September with their printed ticket or mobile ticket to be scanned for entry at the gates. Guests that have purchased a ticket and are not able to attend the newly scheduled race dates, can visit www.KentuckyDerby.com/TicketStatus for more information. Guests who purchased tickets from a vendor or secondary market website other than Churchill Downs, Ticketmaster.com or Derby Experiences must contact those sites directly. Churchill Downs is unable to process refunds for those tickets.