LOUISVILLE, KY., Aug. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced today an update to the detailed 62-page Kentucky Derby 146 Safety Plan released by Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill Downs”). The Safety Plan applies to all live race days during this year’s rescheduled Kentucky Derby Week and will limit the attendance to less than 23,000 fans (less than 14% of the attendance record) for the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, September 5, 2020.   

Attendance will be limited to guests with reserved seats with a maximum of 40% occupancy of reserved seats. All General Admission ticket options including the Infield are eliminated. Temperature checks, medical questionnaires, physical distancing and face coverings will be required upon entrance and movement within the 190-acre Churchill Downs facility.

“It is our privilege to be able to welcome fans to Churchill Downs every year and this year most especially,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “Along with that privilege is our paramount responsibility to ensure the safety of our fans, team members and participants. Over the last four months, we worked closely with Kentucky Governor Beshear and his Administration, Louisville Metro Health Department, and medical experts to develop safety protocols that are best-in-class while staying flexible and ready to incorporate changes and new learnings.”

Highlights of the Safety Plan include:

  • Attendance will be limited to guests with reserved seats with a maximum of 40% occupancy of reserved seating. All outdoor ticket holders will be reseated in a new comparable location either prior to or during the event to provide for maximum distancing.  
  • There will be no general admission available throughout Kentucky Derby Week. Pre-purchased General Admission tickets will be refunded.
  • Wearing cloth face coverings will be required throughout the entire venue, both indoors and outdoors, when not actively consuming food or beverage.
  • Each person entering Churchill Downs will be screened via a medical questionnaire and a contactless thermometer. Individuals with a temperature in excess of 100 degrees will be prohibited from entering.
  • Each guest will receive a courtesy “Healthy at the Track” bag, which will include a disposable mask, pocket-sized hand sanitizer and personal stylus for non-contact self-service wagering.
  • More than 500 hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the facility.
  • Pari-mutuel tellers will be properly spaced and provided PPE for betting transactions. Guests are encouraged to wager online through TwinSpires.com, the official advance deposit wagering platform of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.
  • Concession stand options will be limited to mostly pre-packaged foods. Plated meals and meal packages from pre-set menus will be served in select locations.
  • Guest shuttles from offsite parking locations will be eliminated.
  • Kentucky Derby Week activities have been eliminated including autograph signings, concerts in the Plaza, fashion contests, Taste of Derby, the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade and the Kentucky Derby Red Carpet. Key programming elements will transition to digital platforms.
  • The stable area will be restricted to essential personnel. Guests and gatherings in the stable area for morning workouts and during race days will be prohibited. Additional protocols for stable area personnel and race participants (jockeys, trainers, grooms, etc.) will be finalized in the coming days.

The complete Safety Plan can be viewed online at KentuckyDerby.com/updates. Compliance of Churchill Downs’ public safety measures is a condition of admittance and will be strictly enforced. Offenders will receive a warning; repeat offenders will be escorted from the property.

NBC will televise coverage of the Kentucky Derby and undercard racing on September 5 from 2:30-7:30 p.m. ET. The 146th running of the Kentucky Oaks will be televised Friday, September 4 on NBCSN from 3-6 p.m. ET.

The Kentucky Derby was first staged in 1875 and is the longest continually-held major sporting event in the United States. Churchill Downs hosted a record crowd of 170,513 for the 141st Kentucky Derby in 2015.

About Churchill Downs Incorporated

Churchill Downs Incorporated is an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event - The Kentucky Derby. We own and operate Derby City Gaming, a historical racing machine facility in Louisville, Kentucky. We also own and operate the largest online horse racing wagering platform in the U.S., TwinSpires.com, and we operate sports betting and iGaming through our BetAmerica platform in multiple states. We are also a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 table games in eight states. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com

Certain statements made in this news release contain various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the use of terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” and similar words or similar expressions (or negative versions of such words or expressions). 

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Important factors, among others, that may affect actual results or outcomes include the following: the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and related economic matters on our results of operations, financial conditions and prospects; the effect of economic conditions on our consumers' confidence and discretionary spending or our access to credit; additional or increased taxes and fees; public perceptions or lack of confidence in the integrity of our business or any deterioration in our reputation; loss of key or highly skilled personnel; restrictions in our debt facilities limiting our flexibility to operate our business; general risks related to real estate ownership, including fluctuations in market values and environmental regulations; catastrophic events and system failures disrupting our operations; online security risk, including cyber-security breaches; inability to recover under our insurance policies for damages sustained at our properties in the event of inclement weather and casualty events; increases in insurance costs and inability to obtain similar insurance coverage in the future; inability to identify and complete acquisition, expansion or divestiture projects, on time, on budget or as planned; difficulty in integrating recent or future acquisitions into our operations; costs and uncertainties relating to the development of new venues and expansion of existing facilities; risks associated with equity investments, strategic alliances and other third-party agreements; inability to respond to rapid technological changes in a timely manner; inadvertent infringement of the intellectual property of others; inability to protect our own intellectual property rights; payment-related risks, such as risk associated with fraudulent credit card and debit card use; compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or applicable money-laundering regulations; risks related to pending or future legal proceedings and other actions; inability to negotiate agreements with industry constituents, including horsemen and other racetracks; work stoppages and labor issues; changes in consumer preferences, attendance, wagering and sponsorship with respect to Churchill Downs Racetrack and the Kentucky Derby; personal injury litigation related to injuries occurring at our racetracks; weather and other conditions affecting our ability to conduct live racing; the occurrence of extraordinary events, such as terrorist attacks and public health threats; changes in the regulatory environment of our racing operations; increased competition in the horse racing business; difficulty in attracting a sufficient number of horses and trainers for full field horse races; our inability to utilize and provide totalizator services; changes in regulatory environment of our online horse wagering business; A reduction in the number of people wagering on live horse races; increase in competition in our online horse racing wagering business; uncertainty and changes in the legal landscape relating to our online horse racing wagering business; continued legalization of online sports betting and iGaming in the United States and our ability to predict and capitalize on any such legalization; inability to expand our sports betting operations and effectively compete; failure to manage risks associated with sports betting; failure to comply with laws requiring us to block access to certain individuals could result in penalties or impairment with respect to our mobile and online wagering products; increased competition in our casino business; changes in regulatory environment of our casino business; concentration and evolution of slot machine manufacturing and other technology conditions that could impose additional costs; and inability to collect gaming receivables from the customers to whom we extend credit.

We do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Investor Contact: Nick Zangari Media Contact: Tonya Abeln
(502) 394-1157(502) 386-1742
Nick.Zangari@kyderby.com Tonya.Abeln@kyderby.com