Fans to return to Churchill Downs for racing and social distancing

Fans to return to Churchill Downs for racing and social distancing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Fans will be allowed to return to Churchill Downs when the fall meet begins Sunday for the first time in almost a year.

Ticket holders will be subject to restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“No infield, there won’t be the usual paddock traffic,” Tonya Abeln, Churchill Downs VP of Corporate Communications said. “A ticket to Churchill Downs means that you will be specifically seated somewhere and with our priority being spreading everyone out as responsibly as possible.”

Masks, temperature checks, and social distancing will be required. They are almost the same rules that would have been in place if fans had been allowed into the Derby.

“To welcome spectators for Derby, required a process that would include a lot more people than will be here for our fall meet,” Abeln said. “So we’re able to take that process, all the protocols we have in place for the Derby and just re-design them for a fall meet that can be safe with limited spectators.”

Last year the fall meet averaged 42 hundred fans a day. That number is expected to be lower this year. All plans could change with the spread of the virus, just like the derby.

“Given the circumstances with public health, we are always ready to pivot,” Abeln said. “And that is something our team has gotten very used to doing and we’re very well equipped to do that as well.”

Everyone who buys a ticket will be required to provide a phone number as part of the precautions. This will assist with contact tracing in case anyone is exposed to the virus while attending the races.

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