Churchill Downs of Louisville, Kentucky tells BourbonBlog.com that attendance will be limited to guests with reserved seats with a maximum of 40% occupancy of reserved seats. All General Admission ticket options including the Infield are eliminated.
Temperature checks, medical questionnaires, physical distancing, and face coverings will be required upon entrance and movement within the 190-acre Churchill Downs facility.
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For the 2020 “Run for the Roses,” there is also a detailed 62-page Kentucky Derby 146 Safety Plan released by Churchill Downs Racetrack.
The Safety Plan applies to all live race days during this year’s rescheduled Kentucky Derby Week and will limit the attendance to less than 23,000 fans (less than 14% of the attendance record) for the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, September 5, 2020.
Kentucky Derby Week activities have been eliminated including autograph signings, concerts in the Plaza, fashion contests, Taste of Derby, the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade, and the Kentucky Derby Red Carpet. Key programming elements will transition to digital platforms.
Highlights of the Safety Plan include:
- Attendance will be limited to guests with reserved seats with a maximum of 40% occupancy of reserved seating. All outdoor ticket holders will be reseated in a new comparable location either prior to or during the event to provide for maximum distancing.
- There will be no general admission available throughout Kentucky Derby Week.
- Pre-purchased General Admission tickets will be refunded.
- Wearing cloth face coverings will be required throughout the entire venue, both indoors and outdoors, when not actively consuming food or beverage.
- Each person entering Churchill Downs will be screened via a medical questionnaire and a contactless thermometer. Individuals with a temperature in excess of 100 degrees will be prohibited from entering.
- Each guest will receive a courtesy “Healthy at the Track” bag, which will include a disposable mask, pocket-sized hand sanitizer, and personal stylus for non-contact self-service wagering.
- More than 500 hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the facility.
- Pari-mutuel tellers will be properly spaced and provided PPE for betting transactions. Guests are encouraged to wager online through TwinSpires.com, the official advance deposit wagering platform of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.
- Concession stand options will be limited to mostly pre-packaged foods. Plated meals and meal packages from pre-set menus will be served in select locations.
- Guest shuttles from offsite parking locations will be eliminated.
- The stable area will be restricted to essential personnel. Guests and gatherings in the stable area for morning workouts and during race days will be prohibited. Additional protocols for stable area personnel and race participants (jockeys, trainers, grooms, etc.) will be finalized in the coming days.
The complete Safety Plan
The complete Safety Plan can be viewed online at KentuckyDerby.com/updates. Compliance of Churchill Downs’ public safety measures is a condition of admittance and will be strictly enforced. Offenders will receive a warning; repeat offenders will be escorted from the property.
NBC will televise coverage of the Kentucky Derby and undercard racing on September 5 from 2:30-7:30 p.m. ET. The 146th running of the Kentucky Oaks will be televised Friday, September 4 on NBCSN from 3-6 p.m. ET.
The Kentucky Derby was first staged in 1875 and is the longest continually-held major sporting event in the United States. Churchill Downs hosted a record crowd of 170,513 for the 141st Kentucky Derby in 2015.
“It is our privilege to be able to welcome fans to Churchill Downs every year and this year most especially,” Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI tells BourbonBlog.com.
“Along with that privilege is our paramount responsibility to ensure the safety of our fans, team members, and participants. Over the last four months, we worked closely with Kentucky Governor Beshear and his Administration, Louisville Metro Health Department, and medical experts to develop safety protocols that are best-in-class while staying flexible and ready to incorporate changes and new learnings.”