The people in charge at Ascot have not given up the dream of welcoming spectators to Royal Ascot in 2021. Up to 10,000 spectators per day at the royal meeting next month is the objective.
At a more realistic level, they are fairly confident that at least 4,000 people will be allowed to attend. This number would be made up of owners, hospitality box holders and members of the Royal Ascot Racing Club. The remainder would be the general public.
The government is set to ease coronavirus restrictions further in England on May 17. On this day spectators will be allowed to join owners on the racecourse in limited numbers.
How many spectators can we expect?
“We’re at 4,000 at this moment in time,” said Ascot’s director of racing Nick Smith. “We’d like it to be more and we’re trying to make approaches with 10,000 in mind if we can get there, working with the BHA and RCA to see whether that can happen.
“We’re really playing a waiting game and until we know what our capacities are, we can’t do the simple logistical things that we want to get on with, like telling customers we have tickets for sale or don’t have tickets for sale.”
Smith added: “It’s worked through the central bodies of the RCA and the BHA, who are having regular conversations with DCMS and making approaches. All sports are doing the same and all sorts of venues are being allowed to do a little bit more, it’s just a question of whether we fit into their scheduling and programming.
“We’re very realistic about it – we’d hope to get there but if we don’t, we don’t.”
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