The Maryland Jockey Club on Tuesday announced that 10,000 fans will be allowed to watch the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore from the stands on May 15, after last year’s race was postponed to October because of the pandemic.
“1/ST and the Maryland Jockey Club announced today that Preakness 146 will run with a socially distant, limited crowd of 10,000 in attendance when it returns as the second jewel of the Triple Crown Series on Saturday, May 15 to Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland,” according to a statement.
Preakness added that the decision to host fans for the race was made “in consultation with and approval of local and state health and government authorities.”
A limited number of fans will also be allowed at Black-Eyed Susan Day on May 14, according to the statement.
Spectators at the Preakness will be required to wear a mask and physically distance. In addition, entrants will be subject to a non-invasive thermal temperature scan, which will be expedited for fully vaccinated individuals.
Hand sanitizing stations will also be accessible to guests throughout the facility.
InfieldFest, the annual music festival at the Preakness, however, will not take place as planned. The statement announced that a new, socially distant live component will be streamed instead.
“We are thrilled to be able to welcome fans back to Pimlico Race Course for Preakness 146,” Belinda Stronach, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, 1/ST, the Jockey Club’s parent company, said in a statement.
“While fan attendance will be limited due to COVID-19 protocols, the excitement of the Preakness is not limited. The 1/ST team has worked tirelessly and in cooperation with Baltimore City and the State of Maryland to thoughtfully and safely prepare for an exciting and memorable day of world-class Thoroughbred horse racing and entertainment,” she added.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) echoed the sentiment, adding that the Preakness hosting fans is “another sign we are on the road back to normal.”
“I want to thank 1/ST and The Maryland Jockey Club for working to ensure that all the proper safety and public health protocols will be in place for Preakness 146,” Hogan said. “Having fans back at Pimlico is another sign we are on the road back to normal, and I look forward to once again presenting the Woodlawn Vase.”
Last year the Preakness, which is the second leg of the Triple Crown, was postponed from its scheduled May date to October, amid the pandemic.