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Horse racing resumes at Assiniboia Downs, without live spectators
Darren Dunn, chief executive officer, is photographed at the track at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg Monday, May 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
WINNIPEG -- Horse racing has resumed for the season at Assiniboia Downs, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic there will be some changes to the operations.
The races resumed on Monday, May 25, but this year there won’t be any live spectators in the grandstand.
Darren Dunn, chief executive officer at Assiniboia Downs, told CTV Winnipeg earlier in May that it’s going to be unusual to race without spectators.
“We’re such an active sport relative to fan participation, whether you yell, whether you bang a program on your leg. It’s going to be different, it’s going to be unusual not hearing the roar of the crowd.
“But a horse will still win every race.”
Dunn said from a revenue standpoint, Assiniboia Downs is facing financial challenges, as its VLTs aren’t operational, the food stands aren’t running and facility rentals have been cancelled or postponed.
But, despite all of these changes, spectators will still be able to take part in events, as viewing and wagering have been moved online.
“Without fans present, people are going to be able to watch and wager on their mobile device, their tablets, their home computer,” Dunn said.
“We’re going to broadcast this signal all over the world.”
The Assiniboia Downs live racing season runs from May 25 to Sept. 15.
More information can be found online.