After rescheduling its signature event for just the second time since 1875, Churchill Downs announced Friday afternoon the 2020 Kentucky Derby will run without fans on Saturday, September 5 in Louisville.
The announcement comes after Churchill Downs had previously announced a plan for less than 23,000 fans to attend the event, less than 14 percent of the facility’s capacity.
“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,” the company said in a statement. ” … 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.”