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Breeders’ Cup Delaying 2021 Tickets Sales In Hopes That Fans Can Return

Ross Everett
by in Horses on
  • The Breeders’ Cup is delaying ticket sales to the 2021 event until they can get more clarity on what the situation will look like in early November.
  • The 2020 Breeders’ Cup was forced to run without fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The 2021 Breeders’ Cup will take place at California’s Del Mar Thoroughbred Club on November 5 & 6.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations worldwide has raised the level of optimism that life could soon return to a higher level of normalcy. When that will happen and what that will look like remains unknown–at least for now. The lack of clarity on the status of the pandemic in early November has prompted the Breeders’ Cup to delay advance ticket sales for their 2021 event.

The 2021 Breeders’ Cup is scheduled for November 5 & 6 at California’s Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Drew Fleming, president and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Limited, said it is his intention to have fans in person at the two-day event but that more clarity was necessary before plans could be made at their end:

“As always, the health and safety of our fans, participants, employees, athletes and the public remain our top priority. We are working closely with Del Mar, local officials and public health experts to safely plan the 2021 World Championships.”

“To ensure we have the most up-to-date safety protocols in place in compliance with CDC guidelines, including the permitted levels of attendance, we are delaying ticket sales for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships until we have greater clarity on the ever-changing landscape. Rest assured, it is our strong intent to safely host fans at the 2021 World Championships.”

Elsewhere in a press release announcing the delay in ticket sales, Fleming applauded the work of frontline health care workers and express optimism for the year ahead:

“We applaud the frontline healthcare workers and essential personnel for providing heroic support and care, and the scientists who have developed vaccines under extraordinary circumstances. With the COVID-19 vaccine now being rolled out across the country and internationally, we at the Breeders’ Cup remain optimistic for the year ahead, and specifically for the 2021 World Championships on November 5 and 6 at Del Mar in Southern California.”

The message for now? Stay tuned:

“We will send further updates and details in the coming months to provide you with as much time as possible to plan a trip to Del Mar. We look forward to welcoming you back to the World Championships and thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times.”

In this case at least, no news is good news. Clearly the hope is that the ongoing vaccine rollout will make it feasible for fans to attend the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar. While it is likely that reduced capacity will be required, there’s no harm in waiting.

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships were held in Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, with a $31 million purse. Fans were not in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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