Demand for tickets for controversial St Leger crashes Doncaster Racecourse website
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This year’s event gets under way at Town Moor on Wednesday – but there have been widespread fears the four day meeting could cause a coronavirus spike in Doncaster with racegoers failing to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones has voiced her concerns in allowing the meeting to go ahead – one of the Government’s pilot projects aimed at allowing the return of spectators to live sport, while more than 5,000 people have signed a petition calling for it to be scrapped.
But bosses have moved to reassure festival goers the meeting will be safe and that numbers will be limited – but said demand had been massive.
Tickets can still be purchased online for the meeting, although Friday's and Saturday's Pertemps St Leger card are heading towards their capacity of close to 6,000 according to officials at the track.
"We put the first phase on sale last Friday and that brought the system down very quickly," Mark Spincer, racing division managing director of Arena Racing Company, said.
"The initial Saturday allocation went within minutes and there are plenty of people who want to visit. We then put another release out on Thursday and, while there's still a smattering of tickets for the Saturday, it's limited now.
"There may well be a final release for the Saturday on Tuesday or Wednesday and that will be if people return any tickets, which they have the option to."
"Wednesday will find its level but I think Thursday will be a good crowd," Spincer added. "Friday and Saturday I'd like to think we'd get to capacity. There's a smidgen of hospitality left but it's very minimal now for the four days."
Visitors will have to follow strict anti-coronavirus measures.
The annual event, which is usually attended by thousands of horse racing fans, will allow 3,640 general admissions on the Wednesday, rising to 6,202 for the following three days.