Spectators Will be Allowed at Kentucky Derby This Fall With Restrictions

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The 2020 Kentucky Derby will have fans in attendance "under strict guidelines" when it is run on Sept. 5, officials announced Thursday.

The 146th Run for the Roses was rescheduled from its traditional first Saturday in May to September due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Churchill Downs announced "a comprehensive set of operating procedures" was established in accordance with the Louisville Metro Health Department and Kentucky’s Healthy at Work program. Organizers also consulted with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and state public health officials. 

"Our team is deeply committed to holding the very best Kentucky Derby ever, and we will take all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of all who attend and participate in the Derby," Churchill Downs Racetrack president Kevin Flanery said in a statement.

The Kentucky Derby's safety measures include:

  • Venue capacity reductions to limit overall crowd density, including general admission, outdoor reserved seating, premium dining and suites. 
  • Access throughout the facility will be severely limited.
  • Credentials for employees, media and guests will be reduced.
  • Barn area access will be restricted to essential personnel. Guests and parties in the barn area for morning workouts and during race days will be eliminated.
  • Changes in venue operations to limit person-to-person touchpoints.
  • Team member protocols established to protect employees and guests.
  • Guests will be consistently and frequently encouraged to wear a mask at all times unless seated in their reserved seat or venue. 

The rescheduled Derby Week will be held Sept. 1-5 with the Oaks held on Sept. 4. Officials said that tickets purchased for the Kentucky Derby's original date in May are valid for Sept. 5.