Churchill Downs Considering Increase In Capacity For Kentucky Derby

More than 30,000 fans could be allowed to attend the 147th Kentucky Derby, as Churchill Downs is considering 60% reserved seating capacity for the event.

“With the governor’s announcement yesterday, we’ve started to analyze how we can flex up and remain nimble for the weeks to come for any additional charges and restrictions as that might come out,” new Churchill Downs president Mike Anderson said, via the Louisville Courier-Journal. “We’ll continue to follow the guidelines for both local and state health agencies to make sure we are following all the COVID compliance.”

This year’s Kentucky Derby is scheduled for May 1. Churchill Downs had previously said reserved seating could increase by 40-50%, but now it’s apparently contemplating increasing that number even more. At 40-50% capacity, anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 fans could attend.

On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky businesses — such as bars, restaurants and gyms — could increase indoor capacity from 50% to 60%.

“With the governor’s announcement yesterday, we’ve started to analyze how we can flex up and remain nimble for the weeks to come for any additional charges and restrictions as that might come out,” Anderson said. “We’ll continue to follow the guidelines for both local and state health agencies to make sure we are following all the COVID compliance.”

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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