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Will the 2021 Kentucky Derby have fans?

The 2021 Kentucky Derby is rapidly approaching, as the Greatest Two Minutes In Sports is set to take place on Saturday, May 1.


However, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the in-person sports fan experience for several months now. It has also thrown tried and true timelines into flux - the Derby took place in September last year, after all, without fans.


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This year, we are expecting fans to be allowed at Churchill Downs for the Derby.


The question is, how many?


Kentucky Derby saying 40-50% capacity, for now


According to the Kentucky Derby's official website, they are planning to allow spectators at 40-50% capacity. That comes out to between 20,000 and 30,000 fans.


With that said, as we know from last year, that is subject to change.


Here's an excerpt from the site:


At this time, we are working under the assumption that we 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 we are closer to the date of this year’s Kentucky Derby. If the circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19 improve, then we will sell more reserved seats and consider selling general admission tickets.


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The site goes on to state that those with memberships and those who purchased tickets in 2020 and received refunds will have the right of first refusal.


For those who are lucky enough to get in, there is another notable change to keep in mind. Seats will be all-inclusive this year in an effort to reduce the amount of people everyone interacts with.


Will masks be required at the Derby?


Yes, masks will be required, regardless of if you are vaccinated. That's in accordance with the state of Kentucky's current safety guidelines.


All Derby employees have been given the opportunity to get vaccinated, and they will be required to wear face coverings as well.



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