Thu | Nov 26, 2020

Punters will have to pay - SVREL to announce admission fees for Caymanas Park ahead of racing’s return

Published:Sunday | June 7, 2020 | 12:43 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Fans look on from the main stands as Another Bullet, in the hands of Shane Ellis, wins the Ash Wednesday trophy over a distance of 1300 metres at Caymanas Park in 2018.
Fans look on from the main stands as Another Bullet, in the hands of Shane Ellis, wins the Ash Wednesday trophy over a distance of 1300 metres at Caymanas Park in 2018.

Whenever Caymanas Park reopens for racing, punters entering the facility will be required, for the first time in three years, to pay an admission fee, this according to Lorna Gooden, general manager of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL).

Gooden told The Sunday Gleaner yesterday, that this new requirement is meant to help limit the number of persons who enter the facility on race-days, and is part of the wider protocols that have been established by SVREL and the Government, aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19.

Racing has been on lockdown since March 21.

“The rationale for a charge to come in is about crowd control and, based on the new protocol that has been approved and put forward to the Ministry (of Health and Wellness), we need to ensure that we maintain the numbers that have been approved,” said Gooden. “That charge is to ensure that we manage our crowd.”

With the exception of the Reserved and North Lounge areas, admission fees were removed for the facility when SVREL took over operations of the park in early 2017.

Gooden stated that tickets will be put on sale before each race-day, but that there will be no opportunity to purchase tickets on the actual day of the meet.

NO TICKETS ON RACE DAY

“No tickets will be available on the day of racing, and so you have to purchase your ticket before and then come on the day. You will then be banded to get into the respective area,” Gooden said.

At present, Caymanas Park has a capacity of 12,000 for race days and, according to Gooden, only a small percentage of that amount will be admitted into the track, whenever racing resumes.

“We are starting out with a smaller number, so we should be starting somewhere between 10 to 15 per cent and then we ramp it up,” Gooden said. “We are very serious about this because we want to return to racing very quickly.”

“Racing is very important to the Caymanas Park ecosystem. We want to get back to the business of racing and getting the horses out there and our punters betting on horses and back into Caymanas Park,” said Gooden, who noted that the cost to get into the venue will be announced at a later date.

She added that there are other protocols that have been established, including proper sanitisation of the entire facility and the mandatory wearing of a mask by all persons on the property.

“We have maintained the protocols for the maintenance of the track because exercise was still being conducted because we didn’t close the track, and so the track is ready and it will be ready for race-day,” she noted.

There are hopes within the industry that racing will resume this weekend. However, this would depend on all approvals being granted by early this week.