NYRA Continuing Efforts to Bring Back Spectators

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Racing at Aqueduct in front of an empty grandstand | Chelsea Durand

The New York Racing Association issued a statement Wednesday regarding it ongoing efforts to welcome fans back for the upcoming Belmont Park and Saratoga Racecourse meets. Horse and auto racing were omitted from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's guidance last week relating to reopening sporting events to the public in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

“Governor Cuomo's decision to expand capacity limits for sports fans beginning this April is incredibly positive news as we look toward the spring and summer,” said NYRA's Pat McKEnna. “NYRA will work closely with the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Gaming Commission to secure the requisite approvals to welcome fans back to Belmont Park this spring and to Saratoga Race Course this summer. As COVID-19 cases continue to decline and vaccines become more widely available, we are optimistic that capacity limits will increase in the coming months.

“NYRA has conducted live racing for the past eight months without the energy and excitement that the fans bring, and we have missed them dearly during this time. We look forward to turning the page, and opening the doors to these historic venues in the very near future.

“Considering the size and scope of the COVID-19 vaccination site on the first floor of Aqueduct Racetrack, where New York State will soon be distributing more than 4,000 doses per day, NYRA hopes to re-open Aqueduct to spectators in the fall of 2021.”

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