Golden Gate Fields will reopen in a limited capacity to fans starting April 16 and continuing for the remainder of the winter/spring meet that runs through to June 13.
The limited capacity reopening is scheduled one week before Gold Rush Weekend, the Bay Area’s marquee Thoroughbred horse racing event of the year. Gold Rush Weekend is April 24-25 and features eight graded stakes races, including the $250,000 San Francisco Mile (G3T).
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, fans will be required to reserve tickets online. General Admission and walk-ups are not permitted at this time. Fans are encouraged to sign-up at www.goldengatefields.com when tickets go on sale.
“We are delighted to be able to welcome racing fans back to Golden Gate Fields,” said David Duggan, senior vice president and general manager of Golden Gate Fields. “Our team has worked tirelessly and in collaboration with the officials from the Berkeley Public Health Division to plan for the reopening of Golden Gate Fields to the public. It is our goal to deliver a world-class Thoroughbred racing meet for our guests and the community in a safe and memorable way.”
Reopening protocols for the winter/spring meet will include social distancing, mandatory masking when not actively eating or drinking, contactless thermal temperature scanning, accessible hand sanitization stations, and enhanced cleaning throughout the facility.
Berkeley Public Health Division and their operating partner Curative have used the large north side parking lot at Golden Gate Fields for priority tier-based vaccinations for Alameda County residents since February. Those who work on the backstretch at Golden Gate Fields and categorized in the agricultural priority tier were also eligible to receive the vaccine.
The track had an outbreak of more than 300 cases among workers this winter, leading to a racing shutdown for two months.
“Since the initial COVID-19 outbreak on our campus, we have successfully and sustainably reduced COVID-19 transmission to zero, minimized morbidity, and proactively promoted vaccination of our community,” said Dr. David Seftel, track physician at Golden Gate Fields. “Thanks to the efforts of the Berkeley Public Health Division and Curative, I am pleased that all of those who work on the backstretch and the employees at Golden Gate Fields have been fully vaccinated.”
While the track will reopen to fans in a limited capacity for live racing, the Turf Club Restaurant and simulcast facilities will remain closed until further notice.
The opening of Golden Gate to paid attendance follows an easing of COVID-19 restrictions by state officials and among its health departments. Santa Anita Park—which like Golden Gate Fields is owned by The Stronach Group—reopened to the fans earlier this month, and the Southern California track reported attendance of 8,246 on the afternoon of the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 3.