Churchill Downs announces all-inclusive ticket plan, safety measures for 2021 Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs announces all-inclusive ticket plan, safety measures for 2021 Kentucky Derby
Authentic won the 2020 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in September after the race was delayed four months because of COVID restrictions. (Source: John P. Wise/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The world’s most famous horse race likely will look different again next year, as it did this year when it was moved from May to September and went off in front of just a few hundred spectators at historic Churchill Downs.

Track officials this week sent a letter to patrons who purchase premium seating, indicating they expect to “still be operating under a reduced seating capacity” for the 147th Kentucky Derby on May 1, 2021.

This year’s race was pushed to Labor Day weekend because of COVID restrictions, and only horsemen, their families and a limited gathering of media were allowed inside Churchill Downs.

In the letter, Churchill told patrons it is “planning for a capacity in line with today’s protocols” for next year’s event.

“We are hopeful that we may be able to extend seating options for additional guests as we get closer to the 2021 Derby and Oaks dates,” the letter said.

All-inclusive tickets will be a new option this year, meaning the price of a seat will include food, non-alcoholic beverages, and alcoholic beverages, according to the letter.

“An all-inclusive option allows us to improve your experience by reducing the amount of time spent in line, eliminating the need to carry extra cash for food and beverages, and avoiding the hassle of paying for every transaction,” Churchill wrote in the letter.

Current track protocols require patrons to wear masks and maintain social distance, and those norms are expected to remain in place for the spring meet scheduled to begin April 24.

Click here for more track information from Churchill Downs.

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