Crowd capacity numbers will be reduced at Royal Ascot beginning in 2022, Ascot Racecourse announced on Thursday. After feedback from racegoers attending the smaller scale Royal Ascot in 2021, attendance caps will be instated across the Royal Enclosure, Queen Anne Enclosure, and Windsor Enclosure for the five-day meeting from June 14-18, 2022.
In addition to reducing capacity in the Royal Enclosure by 1,000 guests (-7%) to 12,500, a new area for circulation has been added-the Royal Enclosure Gardens. The Queen Anne and Windsor Enclosures have been reduced by 4,150 (20%) to 16,600and 2,000 (12%) to 15,000 attendees, respectively and new facilities will be introduced. The Village Enclosure, located on the Heath proper in the middle of the course, will be in operation for the first time since the 2019 pre-pandemic meeting and its capacity is 6,500. Royal Ascot was held behind closed doors in 2020 and with reduced attendance last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Felicity Barnard, Commercial Director at Ascot, said, “We are really pleased to be making these customer-focused changes to Royal Ascot this summer. They will provide an improved experience for all our racegoers across the three main enclosures, ensuring a more enjoyable atmosphere and better access to facilities throughout the site.
“A key message in the feedback from the 2021 Royal Meeting, when attendance was limited to 12,000 per day as part of the Government's Events Research Programme, was that people really appreciated the benefit of additional space.
“This set us on a journey to look at how we could reduce density to improve comfort across the site going forward in a 'normal' scenario. Incorporating feedback from previous years and other racedays, it became clear to us that we needed to make a fundamental change in terms of the capacities across the site.
“This was especially the case in our premier public area–the Queen Anne Enclosure–and reducing the number of people there significantly and investing in improved facilities will deliver a much better environment for people to enjoy the world-class racing on show.
“It is crucial that we protect the unique and very special sense of occasion that people feel when they come to Royal Ascot and we hope that these changes will provide an enhanced experience for all our racegoers.
“Ticket sales have been strong since launch last summer and they will clearly be in higher demand as a result of these changes at what will be a special Royal Meeting in the Platinum Jubilee year.”