Sights And Sounds Of The 2020 Kentucky Derby Will Include Up To 23,000 Fans At Churchill Downs

Written By Fairway Jay on August 17, 2020

The field is coming together for the 2020 Kentucky Derby following the final Derby qualifying points race on Aug. 15. Churchill Downs announced in June plans to have fans in the stands for America’s biggest horse race. Last week, Churchill Downs officials finalized the operations plan that will allow up to 23,000 fans in attendance for the Kentucky Derby.

The September meet runs for five days starting Sept. 1 and features the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, Sept. 4 and the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, Sept. 5.

Churchill Downs Admission Schedule and Protocols

A crowd reaching 23,000 fans would be among the largest for a sporting event in the US since sports started shutting down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reserved seating will have limited occupancy on Derby day, and there will be no general admission or standing-room-only tickets. The infield will be closed.

Medical best practices and protocols including temperature checks, physical distancing and mandatory face coverings will be required upon entrance for all five days of the racing meet at Churchill Downs.

More than 500 hand-sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the facility. Concession stands will be limited mostly to prepackaged foods.

“Reducing the size of the crowd is an important step to ensuring a safe environment,” Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said in a news release. “Medical best practices and protocols — many of which we have applied in consultation with experts both inside and outside the sports industry — will be implemented, and we’ll make adjustments all the way up to Derby Day as we find ways to improve and continue to adhere to ever-evolving best practices.”

The complete plan can be viewed at

How Fans Can Wager on the Kentucky Derby

Fans at Churchill Downs on Derby day will still be able to wager through pari-mutuel tellers. The tellers and service personnel will be properly spaced and provided personal protective equipment for betting transactions.

However, guests are encouraged to wager online through, the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby.


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FairwayJay is a leading national sports and betting analyst and provides insight and information you can bet on to engage and assist the avid fan. His tee-to-green coverage and racing contributions have been provided to Churchill Downs, Twinspires, TVG, Forbes, TheLines, numberFire and PlayUSA platforms. Follow on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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