Saratoga to Open at 100% Capacity


Fans will be lining up again at Saratoga in 2021 | Sarah Andrew

Edited press release

After racing with no fans in 2020, Saratoga will open with 100% capacity in 2021, the New York Racing Association announced today.

With 70% of adult New Yorkers now vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday the immediate removal of COVID-19 protocols and restrictions for nearly all activities and industries, including outdoor sports and entertainment venues. Accordingly, NYRA will open all sections at Saratoga at 100%.

The lifting of all COVID-19 protocols, including the requirement for fans to provide vaccination status, applies to all hospitality areas and venues within the facility, including the popular Saratoga backyard, 1863 Club and The Stretch. Season admission passes, which provide access to the backyard, will be available for purchase and use without the prior requirement that fans provide proof of vaccination status.

“As New Yorkers collectively reach this major milestone in the fight against COVID-19, NYRA thanks Governor Cuomo for his leadership in achieving this goal and for the opportunity to welcome fans back to Saratoga this summer,” said NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke. “This season will be a celebration like no other in Saratoga's long and storied history and we are thrilled to open the gates to the best fans in racing in just a few short weeks.”

As announced previously by Gov. Cuomo, all fans who show proof of vaccination via the New York State Excelsior Pass on opening day, July 15, will receive free grandstand general admission. Fans from outside New York State may redeem free admission by showing their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.

NYRA is encouraging all fans who have been vaccinated in New York State to download the Excelsior Pass at

Non-vaccinated individuals will be required to wear a facial covering during their day at Saratoga Race Course, in accordance with CDC guidance.

The Whitney Viewing Stand at the Oklahoma Training Track will also re-open Saturday, June 26, when members of the public are welcome to view morning training from 7-10 a.m. Prior to the opening of the summer meet July 15, the Whitney Viewing Stand will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 7-10 a.m. with access available via Gate 21 on East Ave.

Licensed owners will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination when entering the Saratoga Race Course property. Beginning June 24, family members and guests will be permitted to accompany licensed owners to view morning training and visit the barn area.

At Belmont Park, the lifting of COVID-19 protocols will allow for the full re-opening of the facility to fans. Beginning Thursday, June 24, walk up general admission will be available for $5 and the backyard picnic tables will once again be available on a first-come first-served basis.

Season and weekly ticket plans for the 2021 season at Saratoga are currently on-sale at Group hospitality reservations are also currently available via email at [email protected] or by phone at (844) NYRA-TIX. Tables in the Festival Tent may be reserved via

Single-day tickets will go on sale Wednesday, June 23 at 10 a.m. at

Single-day dining reservations in the Turf Terrace, The Porch and Club Terrace will be accepted beginning Wednesday, June 30 at 10 a.m. at

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