Spectators can attend Kentucky Derby 146 under strict guidelines

Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. is home of the Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. is home of the Kentucky Derby.(churchilldowns.com)
Updated: Jun. 25, 2020 at 9:32 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – There will be spectators when the 146th Kentucky Derby runs in September, according to Churchill Downs.

Racetrack officials announced Thursday that after consultation with Gov. Andy Beshear and state public health officials the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby would have spectators under strict guidelines.

Some of the guidelines 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 touchpoints.
  • Team member protocols established to protect employees and guests.

Churchill Downs also released a Fan Code of Conduct that listed the following expectations for guests coming to the Derby:

  • 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
  • Guests will be asked to wash their hands for 20 seconds or sanitize them frequently.
  • Guests will be encouraged to socially distance themselves from others when possible

Churchill Downs Racetrack president Kevin Flanery said betting will be spread out and mutual tellers will be queued. He said betting can be done on personal devices and the racetrack will be encouraging people to bet on their phones. Churchill Downs will be investing in wifi over the next two months to help with the increase in mobile betting at the track.

Flanery said this Derby there will be no chefs tables, food will be delivered differently but a plan has not been released. Concession lines will also be queued.

“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,” Flanery said in a press release. “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.”

The 146th Kentucky Oaks is slated to run Sept. 4 and the Kentucky Derby is scheduled to run Sept. 5. The amount of people who can attend the events has not been determined.

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