BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s official. Preakness 145 will not allow fans to attend the event on October 3, organizers announced Wednesday.
“The Stronach Group and the Maryland Jockey Club have been working closely in consultation with local and state health and governmental authorities for the past several months to thoughtfully and safely plan for Preakness 145,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group and 1/ST. “While we had hoped to be able to welcome fans as we have for the past 145 years, the health and safety of our guests, horsemen, riders, team members and the community at large is, and will always be, our top priority. Although Preakness 145 will look and feel much different from all those that have come before it, 1/ST RACING is committed to delivering a day of world-class Thoroughbred horse racing.”READ MORE: Baltimore Police Searching For 2 Missing Children, 14- and 3-Years-Old
Fans will have to watch Preakness 145 instead on their televisions, instead of the live event in person.
5th District Councilman Yitzy Schleifer said, while the decision is not necessarily unexpected, it will certainly impact tourism.
“Being that we are losing the biggest event of the year, that draws in 140,000 people, certainly that’s a revenue that we will never be able to get back,” he said.READ MORE: 'The School Shouldn't Be Open Right Now': Parents React To COVID-19 Outbreak At Cherry Hill Elementary Middle School
Bernard Reed has lived across the street from Pimlico Race Course for 20 years. He said this year will undoubtedly be very different than previous ones.
“We won’t hear the roar across the street of the fans, and the excitement of the horses rounding the track,” Reed said. “It’s just going to be different.”
Only essential racing personnel and participants will be allowed inside.
Anyone who has already purchased tickets will have the option to either transfer their tickets to next year’s Preakness 146 or apply for a full refund. Learn more here.MORE NEWS: Almost 9,000 Vaccinated Marylanders Get Additional Shots Since Approval of Pfizer Booster