Kentucky Derby will be held with spectators in September 'under strict guidelines'

Kentucky Derby will be held with spectators in September 'under strict guidelines'
Posted at 10:19 AM, Jun 25, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – This year’s Kentucky Derby will be held with spectators, but “under strict guidelines."

Churchill Downs Racetrack made the announcement Thursday after consulting with Gov. Andy Beshear and state public health officials.

The Derby is set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 5 after being postponed from its original date, Saturday, May 2.

Churchill Downs says its plan was developed in conjunction with advice and counsel from 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.
  • 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.

A revised "Fan Code of Conduct" will also be in place that establishes 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, including when riding on a shuttle, traveling through the venue, going to the restroom, placing an in-person wager, and 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.

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. Click here to learn more about tickets.

“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 Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin 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.”