By Churchill Downs Press Staff — Churchill Downs Racetrack officials today released a detailed 62-page health and safety operations plan that will limit attendance to the 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on Saturday, Sept. 5 to less than 14 percent of total capacity from the 2015 attendance record.
The Kentucky Derby, first staged in 1875, is the longest continually-held major sporting event in the United States and was originally scheduled for May 5. A record crowd of 170,513 attended the event in 2015.
Due to physical distancing protocols and other safety measures in place to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19, less than 23,000 guests are expected Sept. 5 for the rescheduled Kentucky Derby 146.
There will be no General Admission this year. Churchill Downs stated in late June that General Admission would be limited to the 26-acre Infield. However, given current circumstances, pre-purchased General Admission tickets will be refunded, and the Infield will be closed.
Reserved seating will be limited to a maximum of 40 percent occupancy. Also, Standing Room Only or “Walk Around” tickets have been eliminated. All outdoor ticket holders will be reseated in a new comparable location either prior to or during the event to provide for maximum distancing.
Temperature checks, medical questionnaires, physical distancing and mandatory face coverings will be required upon entrance and movement within the 190-acre Churchill Downs.
An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. Each guest will receive a courtesy “Healthy at the Track” bag, which will include a disposable mask, a pocket-sized hand sanitizer and a personal stylus for non-contact self-service wagering.
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.