The Emerald Downs horse racing track will reopen May 19 with a limited number of fans allowed. COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs

The Emerald Downs horse racing track will reopen May 19 with a limited number of fans allowed. COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs

Emerald Downs to allow fans this horse racing season

At 25% capacity under state guidelines; fans were banned last year due to COVID-19

Fans will be allowed at the Emerald Downs horse racing track in Auburn when the 2021 season opens May 19.

Emerald Downs attendance is limited to 25% of capacity and is dependent on King County being in Phase 2 or 3 of the Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery plan, according to an Emerald Downs news release. No fans were allowed during the 2020 season due to COVID-19 restrictions by the state.

Tickets for the first 10 race days (between May 19 and June 17) will go on sale soon on the track’s website. People are strongly encouraged to pre-purchase tickets online. Tickets will be available at the gates only if availability remains. Daily attendance is limited as per protocols in place for spectator sports in Washington.

Emerald Downs follows all guidelines and protocols in the Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery plan, including:

• Face masks: Required at all times for fans ages 2 and older except when actively drinking or eating while seated. Masks are not permitted to be removed at any time while standing or walking throughout the track.

• Adult ticket prices: $10 per person now includes general admission and a Race Program. This is a $2 savings from previous years. $13 per person includes general admission, a Race Program, and a reserved grandstand seat. Reserved seats will be socially spaced between groups.

• Children tickets: $5 for children ages 12 and under. ($8 includes a reserved seat)

• Parking: Both free general parking and paid Preferred Parking will be available. There will be no Valet parking service this season.

• Admission policies: No outside food or beverages permitted with the exception of a sealed 32 ounce bottle of water or smaller per person.

• Seating: General admission bench and table seating is available throughout the track. All seating will be clearly marked to ensure 6-foot separation between groups. For reserved grandstand seats, social distancing protocols have been built into the ticketing system.

• Smoking: There is no smoking in any public areas of the track.

• Food and beverage/concessions: All bars and concessions are cashless with the exception of Quick Pix on Floor 5. If you do not have a debit or credit card you may purchase a gift card at Customer Service on track level or Floor 5. You may also use Apple or Google Pay. Menus will be streamlined with food packaged and ready to expedite your time at the concession stands.

• Wagering: A greater percentage of wagering machines will be self-service. Please follow the floor markers to maintain social distancing while waiting to bet. Contactless wagering is available using betemerald.com while at the track. See customer service for details.

• Racing forms: Forms and simulcast programs will be sold at customer service.

• Gift Shop: The Gift Shop is currently closed.

• 5th floor dining tables: A limited number of Rainier Dining tables will be open on Floor 5. Each table has a television monitor. These will be first come, first served on each race day. There will be no dining service. You may order food and beverages at Quick Pix and bring them to your table.

• Box seats: Boxes will be sold by calling customer service at 253-288-7711. As only a limited number of boxes are available, priority will be given to 2019 box seat holders. Box Seats are available on Floors 3 & 5.

• Suites: There are four suites available each race day. Please call the track at 253-288-7000 if you are interested. Windows must remain open in all suites and occupancy is limited to 25%.

• Simulcasting: Watch and wager on tracks from coast to coast every Wednesday through Sunday on Floor 5. Admission is free except during live racing hours. On race days we begin charging admission three hours prior to the first live race of the day.

• Temperature checks and health screenings: Fans are not required to undergo temperature checks or other health screenings except to access Floors 5 and 6. Please stay home if you are not feeling well or have been exposed to COVID-19.


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