On Friday, Churchhill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced its decision to run the 146th Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5, 2020, without fans.
According to CDI, the decision was made to protect the health and safety of its team, fans, and participants.
CDI's original plan was to hold the running of the 146th Kentucky Derby with limited spectators in attendance, but current significant increases in COVID-19 cases in Louisville and across the region caused the organization to "revisit" planning.
"We have made the difficult decision to hold this year’s Kentucky Derby on September 5 without fans," a statement from CDI said. "Churchill Downs and all of our team members feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility as citizens of Louisville to do all we responsibly can to protect the health, safety, and security of our community in these challenging times and believe that running the Derby without spectators is the best way to do that."
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear voiced his support of the decision, saying, “I applaud Churchill Downs for continuing to monitor the virus and for making the right and responsible decision. I am asking all Kentuckians to take action to stop the spread of the virus so we can get back to the many traditions we enjoy, like the Kentucky Derby.”