146th Kentucky Derby to run without fans

August 27, 2020
dvm360 Staff

Churchill Downs has announced that the 146th Kentucky Derby will be run on September 5, 2020, but there will be no fans in attendance.

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced late last week that the Kentucky Derby will take place on September 5 as planned, but due to COVID-19 concerns no fans will be in attendance. The only people who will be allowed on the grounds that day are participants and essential staff.

This decision was made following a recent spike in coronavirus cases in the Louisville area and across the region. After consulting with state health care officials and local health care providers, CDI decided that the best option to ensure safety for everyone is to exclude fans from the event.

“This year’s Kentucky Derby was never going to be the celebration we’re used to, but I could not be more grateful to our tremendous team members and community partners for all of their efforts. We’ve left no stones unturned and reached the right decision,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI, in this press release. “We hope our fans, the Louisville community and our country find an opportunity over the coming weeks to reflect on the challenges we have faced this year as a community and as a nation and work together toward a better and safer future.”

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in and around Louisville. Regional provider Norton Healthcare has reported an increase of about 2% to 10% in positivity rates from the 70,000 people they have tested.

Ticket holders for all the races during the week of the Derby, including Dawn at the Downs, will receive automatic refunds. The event will be televised on NBC on September 5 starting at 2:30 p.m. ET; the running of the Kentucky Oaks will air September 4 at 3 p.m. ET.

To learn more about the Kentucky Derby’s COVID-19 plan of operation, here is their plan of action. To learn about the brand new triage center at Churchill Downs Racetrack, click here.