LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, April 29, 2021) – In advance of the 147th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) on Saturday, Churchill Downs Racetrack is reminding guests of the health and safety protocols in place to host America’s greatest race. The Kentucky Derby, first staged in 1875, is the longest continually-held major sporting event in the United States.
Owing to physical distancing protocols and other safety measures in place, Churchill Downs is limiting the number of reserved seats to 40 to 50 percent capacity and up to 60 percent in certain private premium areas that allow social distancing. Additionally, Infield-Only general admission ticket sales are limited to approximately 25 to 30 percent of capacity in the spacious, outdoor 22-acre Infield.
Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Week Health and Safety Operations Plan was developed in close collaboration with public health experts and adheres to the industry-specific guidance for “Venues and Event Spaces,” “Restaurants and Bars” and “Retail Businesses.” Current CDC recommendations guided the formation of the plan. Advice and counsel from the Louisville Metro Health Department along with key elements of Kentucky’s Healthy at Work guidance are incorporated throughout the document.
“We’ve received an exceptional level of guidance from medical experts and public health authorities, and this plan will allow the reduced number of spectators in attendance to celebrate Kentucky Derby 147 in a safe and responsible way,” Churchill Downs Racetrack President Mike Anderson said.
All attendees should perform a health self-assessment prior to their arrival at Churchill Downs. Anyone with an elevated temperature or illness should refrain from attending.
Although the Kentucky mask mandate was lifted for outdoor events of less than 1,000, state mask requirements still apply for guests of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby due to attendance in excess of 1,000. Protective face coverings/masks are required for all guests unless seated while actively eating or drinking. Guests will be encouraged to socially distance themselves from others when possible.
In addition, Churchill Downs has implemented a Compliance Ambassador program to drive awareness and adoption of public safety measures. Signage is placed throughout the facility, including the Infield, to remind guests to wear masks and practice social distancing. Messaging also will be programmed on television monitors including the 171’ x 90’ Panasonic TV Screen known as the “Big Board.”
Compliance of Churchill Downs’ public safety measures is a condition of admittance. Offenders will receive a warning; repeat offenders will be escorted from the property without a refund.
ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS RACETRACK
Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”), the world’s most legendary racetrack, has been the home of The Kentucky Derby, the longest continually held annual sporting event in the United States, since 1875. Located in Louisville, CDRT features a series of themed race days during Derby Week, including the Kentucky Oaks, and conducts Thoroughbred horse racing during three race meets in the Spring, September, and the Fall. CDRT is located on 175 acres and has a one-mile dirt track, a 7/8-mile turf track, a stabling area, and provides seating for approximately 60,000 guests. The saddling paddock and the stable area has barns sufficient to accommodate 1,400 horses and a 114-room dormitory for backstretch personnel. CDRT also has a year-round simulcast wagering facility. www.ChurchillDowns.com.

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