The following article in the June print edition is updated with the lifting of all COVID-19 Protocols.
Updated Story Link: Saratoga Race Course to re-open at 100 percent capacity this summer
Saratoga Race Course will re-open to fans at near full capacity when the 2021 summer meet commences on July 15.
In order to re-open Saratoga Race Course to fans at near full percent capacity, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) will designate most sections for vaccinated fans only, including the popular Saratoga backyard. Officials said the policy aligns with current state guidance for large outdoor sports and entertainment venues, which allows for fully vaccinated sections to operate at full capacity without social distancing measures in place.
Alternatively, NYRA will designate a small number of hospitality and seating areas for non-vaccinated fans. Fans in these sections will be required to observe social distancing guidelines and to wear a face covering at all times during their day at Saratoga Race Course.
NYRA said all fans who show proof of vaccination through Excelsior Pass–the state’s free, fast, and verifiable way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination—on Opening Day, Thursday, July 15, will receive free grandstand general admission. Fans can also present alternate forms of proof of vaccination, including paper form such as their CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card, to redeem the free admission.
Visitors to the Saratoga Race Course who are under the age of 16 years old will be allowed to accompany fully vaccinated adults anywhere throughout the track. If not accompanying a fully vaccinated adult, they will be required to stay within the non-vaccinated areas, NYRA said.
“The historic Saratoga Race Course is one of the Capital Region’s most storied attractions, drawing over a million New Yorkers and visitors to Saratoga Springs each summer,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “The racing season is quickly approaching, and this year we are excited to welcome fans back to the course with free admission on Opening Day for any individual who shows proof of vaccination. This is all part of New York’s rebirth and resurgence as we continue to build back better and stronger from this pandemic.”
Unvaccinated NYRA personnel who interact with patrons will be subject to a diagnostic test prior to opening day and will be regularly tested thereafter. Unvaccinated NYRA personnel who do not interact with patrons will not be subject to a diagnostic test prior to opening day or after, however they will be required to wear masks and follow standard DOH and CDC social distancing rules.
The 2021 summer meet at the Saratoga Race Course will run from July 15 through Sept. 6 and will feature 76 stakes worth $21.5 million in total purses. Tickets went on sale June 9.
Excelsior Pass, which is now being utilized by venues, universities, stadiums and businesses statewide, is a fast, free, and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results that’s supporting New Yorkers building back better and safer.
Interested businesses and organizations can opt in and learn more here and download digital marketing assets here to help demonstrate to patrons and customers that their business accepts Excelsior Pass. New Yorkers can always present alternate forms of COVID-19 vaccination and negative test results, such as paper forms.