BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Some fans will be able to watch The 146th Running of The Preakness in-person as it returns to Pimlico this May.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Tuesday that a “socially distant, limited crowd” of 10,000 people will be allowed to join in on the festivities on Saturday, May 15, at Pimlico Race Course.
The Maryland Jockey Club and 1/ST said they’ve worked with Baltimore City and State health officials to safely prepare.
“We’re very excited to have the Preakness back,” Jimmy Vargas, of 1/ST, said. “2,000… 20,000… 100,000… we expect the same amount of energy levels.”
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“Guests will be seated in a socially distanced environment,” Vargas added. “So plenty of space for you to jump around, cheer for your favorite horse.”
A limited set of tickets will go on sale on Monday, April 5. Tickets will be available for Preakness Day and Black-Eyed Susan Day at www.preakness.com, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Preakness 146 Box Office toll-free at 1-877-206-8042, Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET.
To follow social distancing guidelines, the seating chart will be changed to reflect altered ticket options and viewing spots. People who already have tickets, opted to carry over their tickets from Preakness 145, will be able to relocate to the nearest equivalent spot for this year’s race starting on March 24.
“We are thrilled to be able to welcome fans back to Pimlico Race Course for Preakness 146,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, 1/ST. “While fan attendance will be limited due to COVID-19 protocols, the excitement of the Preakness is not limited. The 1/ST team has worked tirelessly and in cooperation with Baltimore City and the State of Maryland to thoughtfully and safely prepare for an exciting and memorable day of world-class Thoroughbred horse racing and entertainment.”
Some highlights include special suites, or Corporate Village Suites with “luxury open air cabanas” and “lounge seating.”
Individual tickets range in price from $150 to $500 with pricing available on request for suites.
“I want to thank 1/ST and The Maryland Jockey Club for working to ensure that all the proper safety and public health protocols will be in place for Preakness 146,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Having fans back at Pimlico is another sign we are on the road back to normal, and I look forward to once again presenting the Woodlawn Vase.”
The weekend will open with Black-Eyed Susan Day on Friday, March 14 with the $250,000 George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.
“The Preakness is a Baltimore staple and the center of American horseracing since 1870. I am excited to welcome fans back to Pimlico Race Course in Park Heights,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Sustaining the health and safety of Baltimore residents is my top priority, and I am confident the staff at 1/ST and the Maryland Jockey Club will protect the health of fans by following the safety guidelines set forth by the City of Baltimore and State of Maryland.”
InfieldFest will not happen this year due to COVID restrictions. They will instead, have a new, “socially distant live component” called PREAKNESS LIVE, that will run with the race’s broadcast and be livestreamed. Tickets for this event will be announced in the coming weeks, the Jockey Club said.
Park Heights residents said they’re looking forward to the much-needed boost in business the event always brings.
“Yeah, we’re going in the right direction,” Carolyn Frazier, a local resident, said. “Hopefully it will stay permanent now.”
“My favorite thing is betting on the right horses,” Reginald Williams, a local resident, added. “That’s going to win you some money.”
This comes after The Preakness was postponed last year from May until October because of the COVID-19 pandemic.