Fans won’t be allowed to attend the 2020 Kentucky Derby after all. Churchill Downs reversed its decision Friday, saying fans would no longer be allowed at the event this year
In June, Churchill Downs announced the Derby — which will be held Sept. 5 — would take place with fans in the stands. Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Louisville, however, prompting the Churchill Downs to change course.
Churchill Downs has worked diligently over the last several months to plan a safe Derby with a limited number of spectators in attendance. We were confident in that plan, but dedicated to remaining flexible using the best and most reliable information available. With the current significant increases in COVID19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning. We have made the difficult decision to hold this year’s Kentucky Derby on September 5 without fans. 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. We deeply regret the disappointment this will bring to our loyal fans.
Fans who purchased tickets for the event will receive a refund.
Kentucky Derby pushed back from May starting date
The 2020 Kentucky Derby was supposed to take place in May, but was pushed back due to the virus. It’s only the second time the event has been pushed back. The first occurred in 1945 as a result of World War II. The race was run in June that year.
The September date will mark the latest the Kentucky Derby has taken place.
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