Race track and casino operator Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) issued today an update to the comprehensive safety plan regarding all live races days during this year’s rescheduled Kentucky Derby Week. The 146th Kentucky Derby that will take place September 5 will feature an audience capped at 23,000 people to ensure physical distance compliance.
The Kentucky Derby, by tradition, runs every year on the first Saturday in May and has never been cancelled since its first edition in 1875, with no interruption even during hard times such as the Great Depression and both World Wars. This year, however, due to the health concerns stemming from the virus outbreak, CDI rescheduled the event for September.
Capacity Limit of 40% of Seatings
A maximum occupancy rate of 40% will be applied to guests with reserved seats and all general admission ticket options will be cancelled and sold tickets refunded. Guests will be subjected to remote temperature checks and will have to wear face coverings once inside the property, except for during times when food and beverages are consumed.
“It is our privilege to be able to welcome fans to Churchill Downs every year and this year most especially. Along with that privilege is our paramount responsibility to ensure the safety of our fans, team members and participants.”Bill Carstanjen, CEO, Churchill Downs Incorporated
In collaboration with Kentucky Governor Beshear and his office, the Louisville Metro Health Department and medical experts, CDI developed safety protocols to allow for flexibility so that changes can be incorporated, CDI’s CEO further outlined.
To ensure compliance with the safety plan, CDI will give each guest a courtesy “Healthy at the Track” bag, which will contain a disposable mask, pocket-sized hand sanitizer and personal stylus for non-contact self-service wagering. Hand sanitizing will also be accessible through more than 500 sanitizing stations that will be placed across the property.
Concession options at the stands will be limited to pre-packaged food, while plated meals and pre-set menus meal packages will be available only at select locations. The shuttle service for guests from offsite parking locations to the race track will not be available.
Only essential personnel will have access to the stable area and guests and gatherings there in the morning workouts and during race days will be strictly prohibited. CDI will issue additional protocols for stable area personnel and race participants in the next few days.
Wagering on site will be accessible through the pari-mutuel tellers, which will be properly spaced, and CDI encourages its guests to place bets through the official advance deposit wagering platform, TwinSpires.com.