Keeneland Spring Meet to kick off with a few changes

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 11:36 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s Spring in the Bluegrass and that means the excitement for race fans is building as Keeneland will be holding their Spring Meet with fans this year.

But, there have been changes for fans to attend including having to buy tickets online and much more.

When tickets for Keeneland’s Spring Meet went on sale at 9 a.m Wednesday, so many fans flooded the website that it ended up crashing for a short time.

“I picked my day and I get to the screen where you’re actually paying, it spells it out saying ‘hey it’s $25 a ticket or whatever,’ ok no problem, I hit the click thing and then a thing pops up saying ‘hey these are sold out,’” Brent Guiliani said.

This new form of online ticket sales came after Keeneland had to restrict capacity so fans could attend this year. While officials haven’t said what percentage of capacity they’ll be operating at, any fan wanting to attend a race will be required to purchase a ticket.

For Guiliani, he says he eventually did get tickets to a race, but it wasn’t on a preferred day.

“People are wanting to get back to some type of normal, they want to see the horses run, they want to see their friends out in public at Keeneland, so I understand it, it’s just frustrating,” Guiliani said.

Along with the changes to ticket sales, Keeneland unfortunately will also have to restrict tailgating on their grounds and The Hill will also be closed for the Spring Meet as they follow local health department guidelines to keep their fans safe.

“So we’ve spaced out our tables, benches, and seats, so everything is socially distanced and by limiting those capacities everybody can enjoy racing but not feel like they’re going to be on top of each other,” said Kara Heissenbuttel, the director of patron experience at Keeneland.

But even if you missed out on tickets for a day you wanted to go, Keeneland is still offering plenty of other ways you can enjoy the Spring Meet this year.

“Every morning you can still come and watch morning workouts until 11 AM, the Keeneland shop will be open and we have a number of tours that are available so if you’re not able to come and watch the races we encourage you to come out and watch morning workout,” Heissenbuttel said.

Keeneland will also be offering a 48-hour return policy for tickets, so fans are encouraged to keep checking back online before races to see if any additional tickets become available.

You can purchase tickets to Keeneland’s Spring Meet by visiting their site here.

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