LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The opening of the 2021 Keeneland Spring Meet is April 2, only 44 days away.

On Wednesday, the historic track in Lexington, Kentucky, announced that a limited and unspecified number of fans would be allowed to attend races during the 3-week meet.

In response to the novel coronavirus, Keeneland did not allow spectators in 2020. In fact, the track canceled its 2020 Spring meet because of COVID-19. The Keeneland Spring Meet traditionally flows into the start of racing at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, which is scheduled for May 1.

Keeneland president and CEO Shannon Arvin said that details about how to purchase tickets would be announced on March 1 at keeneland.com.

Here is the complete press release from the horse racing company:

Keeneland has announced plans to allow a limited number of fans to attend its 2021 Spring Meet, to be held April 2-23.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Keeneland to cancel the 2020 Spring Meet and hold an unprecedented five-day Summer Meet in July. The 2020 Summer and Fall Meets and Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland were closed to fans.

For this year's Spring Meet, Keeneland will make available a limited number of pre-sold ticket packages including dining, Grandstand reserved seating and general admission. Keeneland will announce details about how to purchase ticket packages and pricing on Monday, March 1.

Fans are encouraged to visit keeneland.com/newsletter to sign up for ticket alerts in the coming weeks. Keeneland will also allow limited access to race participants, sponsors, box holders and Club members.

"The enthusiasm and loyalty of our fans are what make Keeneland so special," Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. "We have missed their presence on race days and we are excited to welcome them, albeit in limited number, back to Keeneland.

"We appreciate the support of the Central Kentucky community this past year, and we hope this step is the first toward somewhat normal operations in the fall.

"While our team has worked diligently on a plan for expanded attendance this spring, the safety of our guests and employees remains our top priority," Arvin added. "As such, our COVID-19 protocols remain in place and will be strictly enforced during the Spring Meet."

In accordance with Keeneland's COVID-19 safety measures, all individuals will be required to wear a face mask and maintain proper social distancing while on the grounds. Health screenings and temperature checks will resume at all entrance gates for the race meet.

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