BALTIMORE (WJZ) — When the Preakness happens Saturday at Pimlico, 250 people will be allowed at the facility, but racing officials say it won’t be spectators, despite what Baltimore City’s mayor said Wednesday.
During a press conference, Mayor Jack Young said up to 250 spectators would be allowed to watch the Preakness live at Pimlico. Young said Gov. Larry Hogan amended his executive order to allow minimal spectators at the horse race this Saturday. Large scale events have not been allowed throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“We look forward to the day when we can welcome fans back to all hilltop,” Young said.
But Maryland Jockey officials said although up to 250 people will be allowed, it’ll be for event staff, jockeys and other essential people for the event and not horse racing fans.
Anyone traveling from out-of-state will need to get a coronavirus test before they can enter the facility.
The Baltimore Ravens had 250 in the stands during Monday Night Football, but they too were family and friends of staff.
The world-renowned event is usually an economic boost for the city.
“In general, this is our Superbowl,” Baltimore City Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer said. “There is no other event that draws out these kinds of numbers in Baltimore City. So that economic impact is in the 10s of millions of dollars lost in the immediate area.”
The Preakness is the last of the Triple Crown races in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. There will not be a Triple Crown winner this year.
Note: WJZ initially reported 250 spectators would be allowed at Preakness due to comments made by the mayor, but the Maryland Jockey Club says that’s not accurate. We’ve updated the story and will add more details as they are made available.