The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for May 1st, 2021. The health and safety of the entire racing community at Churchill Downs is the primary concern this year.
Churchill Downs Inc. (which operates the facility) remains focused on following sound and proven health and safety protocols as they work toward the best experience possible for horse racing fans.
They are working under the assumption that they will need to limit the number of reserved seats to 40-50% of capacity and will delay the sale of any general admission tickets until closer to the date of this year’s Kentucky Derby.
If the circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19 improve, then they will sell more reserved seats and consider selling general admission tickets.
Here then are some common questions in regard to this years Run For The Roses with responses from Churchill Downs corporate office.
Will the Derby take place on the first Saturday in May?
We do not anticipate moving our traditional date of the first Saturday in May. Last year, racing was not permitted in the state of Kentucky at all on the first Saturday in May so we had to move the Derby in compliance with those restrictions. This year, we don’t anticipate any restrictions on running the race on its traditional date.
Will masks be required at this year’s Derby?
All indications suggest that masks will be required at Derby 2021 based on the projections of public health experts. We will continue to operate within the guidance and recommendations issued by local and state health officials as well as the CDC.
Why aren’t General Admission tickets on sale?
Based on current public health guidance, tickets are currently limited to those that are assigned to a specific seat and that can be socially distanced from other groups of attendees. If the circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19 improve, we will consider selling general admission tickets.
What is being done to protect the backside workers that live on-site at Churchill Downs? What precautions will be taken for when they return?
Just as the rest of the team at Churchill Downs Racetrack, the backside now operates under increased health and safety protocols. Churchill Downs invests in robust and routine testing that has helped us to successfully identify and isolate infection to prevent spread.
The Derby is twelve weeks away.