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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Kentucky Derby will have spectators, officials say

General admission at Churchill Downs will be reduced, and guests are asked to wear masks at all times.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Spectators will be allowed at the Kentucky Oaks and Derby, Churchill Downs announced.

Under new guidelines, there will be reduced capacity to limit crowd density on Derby weekend. Churchill Downs said general admission tickets that only grant access to the infield will be limited to a specific number of people.

"It's going to be a different experience, this is a different year," President Kevin Flanery said. "We also know that we have to take baby steps as a community to move forward and do something that lifts the spirits of this town and the world."

The track will also limit access throughout the facility, specifically to the barn area. Credentials for employees, media and guests will be reduced.

"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," Flanery said.

Guests are encouraged to wear masks at all times, including when going to the restroom, placing a bet, buying food or walking throughout the track. People do not have to wear masks when sitting in their reserved seat or venue.

"We trust that our fans will work with us and do the responsible thing along the way," Flanery said. "And we'll be reminding folks while we're here at the track what the protocols are

More information on general admission tickets is expected in the near future. Tickets purchased for the originally scheduled Derby week will be valid for the new race dates.

The racetrack said state health officials and Gov. Andy Beshear were consulted in the decision. Flanery said while things may change and the track will adjust, the plan is to have fans in the field.

Derby week will be Sept. 1-5, with Oaks Sept. 4 and Derby Sept. 5.

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