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COVID-19: Belmont Park, Other Race Tracks To Have Fans In Stands This Year, Cuomo Says

Belmont Park is set to have fans return to the stands, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Gov. Andrew Cuomo at Belmont Park on Wednesday, April 14.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo at Belmont Park on Wednesday, April 14. Video Credit:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo at Belmont Park on Wednesday, April 14. Photo Credit: Flickr/Gov. Andrew Cuomo

A limited number of fans are expected to be welcomed into Belmont Park this season as New York continues combating the spread of COVID-19 across the state.

Following a COVID-19 briefing at Belmont Park in Elmont on Wednesday, April 14, Cuomo reportedly said that with the racing season beginning next week, it is expected that capacity at tracks is expected to be open to 20 percent capacity outdoors and 10 percent indoors.

The limit would cap fans at approximately 7,000 at Belmont Park, which is approximately its average gate for regular events outside the Belmont Stakes, beginning on Friday, April 23.

Masks, social distancing, proof of vaccination or a recent negative test will be required before fans are permitted into parks.

NYRA will work closely with the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Gaming Commission to secure the requisite approvals to welcome fans back to Belmont Park this spring and to Saratoga Race Course this summer," Pat McKenna, the director of communications and public affairs said last month. 

"As COVID-19 cases continue to decline and vaccines become more widely available, we are optimistic that capacity limits will increase in the coming months."

According to Cuomo, beginning on April 14, Northwell Health will also begin vaccinating union workers on the Belmont Park Redevelopment Project, with 900 doses set aside that will be administered at a rate of 50 per day.

Cuomo said the sites will be operating six days a week until Saturday, May 1, when it will ramp down to three days a week on a rolling basis until all Belmont workers receive a vaccination.

“The transformative Belmont Park Redevelopment Project will revitalize an area, create new jobs and provide a permanent Long Island home for the New York Islanders, and it's important that our local workers are safe as they build this critical project for New York's future during a pandemic,” Cuomo said.

“The pandemic doesn't have to hinder construction and development, but it's vitally important to keep everyone as safe as possible as they conduct work that will be an important part of New York's post-COVID future."

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