Cuomo: Auto-racing, horse races can have 20% capacity


WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – Auto and horse racing events can have up to 20 percent capacity in New York starting April 22, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Spectators will be subject to the state’s sports guidance, which includes: Attendees must show proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccination series prior to entry, face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

“We’re continuing to fight the pandemic each and every day, and the vaccine—the weapon that will win the war—is working. As the situation becomes more manageable, we’re allowing spectators at auto and horse races back into stadiums to safely enjoy great events together. We have a long way to go before reaching a level of immunity that defeats the COVID beast for good, and that’s why New Yorkers need to continue practicing safe behaviors as they go about their daily lives,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’re expanding eligibility, opening more vaccination sites and bringing the vaccine directly to New Yorkers underserved by traditional healthcare institutions in the communities where they live. However, it’s going to take more effort to get us through this pandemic and out to the other side—washing hands, wearing masks and social distancing are critical tools we can use to slow the spread and keep each other safe.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Watkins Glen International has a 38,900 capacity, which would be 7,780 fans for the August Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR race.

The Governor announced that more guidance will be released for these events.

“The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) looks forward to welcoming fans back to Belmont Park this spring and to Saratoga Race Course this summer. We thank Governor Cuomo for the opportunity to host fans at our historic tracks for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

“We will announce ticketing options for fans once we further review the guidelines and protocols set forth for thoroughbred tracks in New York state.

“NYRA has dearly missed the passion and excitement that fans bring to the sport of thoroughbred racing. Today’s announcement by the Governor is one more indication that we are collectively moving toward a return to normalcy.”

NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke

There are currently guidelines for horseracing events on the New York Forward website, but not for auto-racing. There has been a section set up for auto-racing.

18 News will share the guidelines for auto racing events once those are published by the Governor’s office.

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