Spectators will be allowed at Kentucky Derby under strict guidelines. Here's the current plan

The Kentucky Derby will look very different this year due to the coronavirus.


The Kentucky Derby will look very different this year due to the coronavirus.

While fans will be allowed to attend — according to an announcement made Thursday — there will be several guidelines and restrictions in place for Kentucky Derby 146.

Kevin Flanery, Churchill Downs racetrack president, said the decision to allow fans at the Derby and Oaks races was made after discussions with state officials, including Gov. Andy Beshear.

Kentucky Derby 146 will take place this year on Sept. 5. Like many other major events, it was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Major events associated with it, such as Thunder Over Louisville and the Pegasus Parade, were canceled.

Flanery outlined Thursday some of the initial plans that have been made for the 146th running, including the decision to allow fans. He said general admission will be cut by about 60%.

While normal attendance at the Derby is around 150,000, Flanery said the racetrack anticipates a crowd of about 60,000 with seats.

When it comes to masks, Flanery said they won't be required for fans, but are recommended as they are moving around the racetrack. He said masks will be required for employees and some other employees will be wearing gloves as necessary.

Ticketing will also be different this year. Flanery said the Derby will move to mobile ticketing and entry components will be spread out. Fans will be encouraged to remain in the area where they have a ticket and limit their movement.

While the infield will be open, the capacity will be limited.

Betting will still be allowed, but it will be spread out and fans are encouraged to use their phones to place bets, Flanery said during his news conference.

Flanery said all in all that the goal is to get some sense of normalcy back amid the COVID-19 outbreak. He said while the plan isn't fully set in stone, Derby officials are still consulting with state and health leaders on how to move forward closer to the event date.

Watch the video above to hear more from Flanery.

More information on the Kentucky Derby can be found online.