After several attempts to dwindle down the capacity, the decision has finally been made to hold this year’s Kentucky Derby without fans.Churchill Downs made the announcement to reverse course on Friday. It said, in part:”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 COVID-19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning.”Read the full statement here | Watch the news conference belowThe last plan had cut spectators to about 14%.Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said Friday during a news conference that Derby organizers hadn’t been focused on the economic impact of the event because it had already undergone several changes to its traditional format.”We really have been not focused on that piece for quite a while, and just saying, ‘How can we do it in a way that pays tribute to the great city that we live in and to the horsemen,” Flanery said.Flanery also spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Churchill Downs to change its plans on several different occasions. He said the decision to not allow fans came recently because organizers still wanted to find a way to have spectators, safely.He said after further review, Churchill Downs decided it wasn’t possible.”That’s the reality that we’ve been dealing with during this pandemic. It really has been something that a day feels like a week in many instances. Things change and they change rapidly and we have to react to them,” Flanery said.The delayed 146th Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Sept. 5, just over two weeks away. Churchill Downs said the new policy applies to the Kentucky Oaks and all other live races that week.Anyone with tickets for those races will get an automatic refund.Churchill Downs said they received support from Gov. Andy Beshear, who called this the “right and responsible decision.”Earlier this week, Beshear displayed White House data showing Jefferson County in a “red zone” based on cases. It’s the worst classification for their data, signifying that those counties are in a “critical” situation.Gov. Beshear and has remained undecided on whether he will attend this year’s Kentucky Derby. Mayor Greg Fischer has already said he will not attend.More information and updates on the Derby can be found online.

After several attempts to dwindle down the capacity, the decision has finally been made to hold this year’s Kentucky Derby without fans.

Churchill Downs made the announcement to reverse course on Friday. It said, in part:

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“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 COVID-19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning.”

Read the full statement here | Watch the news conference below

The last plan had cut spectators to about 14%.

Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said Friday during a news conference that Derby organizers hadn’t been focused on the economic impact of the event because it had already undergone several changes to its traditional format.

“We really have been not focused on that piece for quite a while, and just saying, ‘How can we do it in a way that pays tribute to the great city that we live in and to the horsemen,” Flanery said.

Flanery also spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Churchill Downs to change its plans on several different occasions. He said the decision to not allow fans came recently because organizers still wanted to find a way to have spectators, safely.

He said after further review, Churchill Downs decided it wasn’t possible.

“That’s the reality that we’ve been dealing with during this pandemic. It really has been something that a day feels like a week in many instances. Things change and they change rapidly and we have to react to them,” Flanery said.

The delayed 146th Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Sept. 5, just over two weeks away. Churchill Downs said the new policy applies to the Kentucky Oaks and all other live races that week.

Anyone with tickets for those races will get an automatic refund.

Churchill Downs said they received support from Gov. Andy Beshear, who called this the “right and responsible decision.”

Earlier this week, Beshear displayed White House data showing Jefferson County in a “red zone” based on cases. It’s the worst classification for their data, signifying that those counties are in a “critical” situation.

Gov. Beshear and has remained undecided on whether he will attend this year’s Kentucky Derby. Mayor Greg Fischer has already said he will not attend.

More information and updates on the Derby can be found online.

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