TORONTO — For the first time since 2019, racing fans will be allowed to attend the $1-million Queen's Plate.
Spectators weren't allowed into Woodbine Racetrack for last year's race due to COVID-19 restrictions. But some fans will be allowed to watch the opening event of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, slated for Aug. 22.
"We're absolutely thrilled to welcome back spectators as this event just really isn’t the same without them,” Jim Lawson, the CEO of Woodbine Entertainment, said in a statement. "Last year we were proud to be able to run this historic race in very challenging circumstances due to the pandemic, but our fans were greatly missed.
"This year, we can’t wait to host spectators and return The Queen’s Plate traditions of fashion, live music, and gourmet food and drinks, all centred around the very best horse racing in the country.”
With Ontario currently in the third step of its reopening plan, horse-racing facilities can have up to 50 per cent of their typical capacity. In past years, 35,000 would've attended the race with expanded hosting areas at Woodbine Racetrack but that won't be permitted in 2021.
Approximately 5,000 tickets are expected to be made available for spectators, with officials emphasizing that well-established COVID-19 protocols will be in place for spectators and employees.
Tickets for this year's event will go on sale to the general public starting Saturday through Ticketmaster, with dining tickets being available for purchase Tuesday. General admission tickets are $20 and grandstand tickets start at $35.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.
The Canadian Press