Tags: Coronavirus | kentucky | derby | fans | churchill downs | fans | pandemic

Kentucky Derby Won't Have Fans This Year

Jockey Luis Saez atop Maximum Security at the Kentucky Derby in 2019
Jockey Luis Saez atop Maximum Security at the Kentucky Derby in 2019. (Darron Cummings/AP)

By    |   Friday, 21 August 2020 10:25 PM

The Kentucky Derby will not have fans in the stands this year, going back on its announcement in June saying it would allow people in the audience.

Derby operator Churchill Downs Incorporated had initially planned to allow a limited capacity of fans attend the race, but a recent surge in coronavirus cases in Louisville shut that idea down.

Churchill Downs Incorporated, which runs the derby, said it had hoped to allow a limited number of fans to attend the race but that recent spikes in coronavirus cases in Louisville and the broader region had rendered that plan unsafe.

"We have made the difficult decision to hold this year's Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 without fans," a statement read. "Churchill Downs and all of our team members feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility as citizens of Louisville to do all we responsibly can to protect the health, safety, and security of our community in these challenging times and believe that running the Derby without spectators is the best way to do that."

Coronavirus cases have risen sharply in Kentucky between July to August, reporting about 1,000 new cases Thursday, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

Kentucky Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear praised the decision, saying it was the "right and responsible decision."

"The virus is still aggressively spreading in Kentucky, and the White House has announced that Jefferson County and the City of Louisville are in a 'red zone' based on increases in cases," Beshear said. "This week alone the county had more than 2,300 new cases.

"I am asking all Kentuckians to take action to stop the spread of the virus so we can get back to the many traditions we enjoy, like the Kentucky Derby."

Nearly two months ago Churchill Downs said it would have the event at "reduced capacities." Traditionally, the event has 60,000 reserved seats.

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The Kentucky Derby will not have fans in the stands this year, going back on its announcement in June saying it would allow people in the audience.
kentucky, derby, fans, churchill downs, fans, pandemic, shutdowns, andy beshear
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2020-25-21
Friday, 21 August 2020 10:25 PM
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