The Jockey Club has announced that spectator capacity at next year’s Cheltenham Festival will be capped at 68,500 people per day to enhance the race-going experience for fans.
The move comes after the 2022 festival attracted a record aggregate attendance of 280,627, with the figure including record individual attendances for Thursday (73,754) and Friday (73,875).
The decision to cap the attendance has been taken after organisers received feedback from racegoers and participants about their experience at this year’s event.
The Jockey Club noted that, while feedback regarding the racing itself was very positive, many people wished to see a reduction in spectator numbers to ease movement around the course and enhance service times.
Ian Renton, The Jockey Club’s managing director for the Cheltenham and West Region, said: “With COVID-19 spectator restrictions lifted, The Festival made a spectacular return in 2022, welcoming record crowds to enjoy a tremendous atmosphere and the very best of jump racing.
“It was fantastic to attract capacity crowds on both Thursday and Friday to witness some brilliant racing in glorious sunshine. However, we are well aware that our facilities, even after significant investment in recent years, are stretched at these attendance levels.
“Despite the financial implications of reducing attendance numbers, we will be capping daily capacity at 68,500 in the recognition of the importance of ensuring that The Festival remains an attractive and enjoyable experience for the long-term. Ticket sales for 2023 have been very brisk and I would advise those wishing to attend to book as soon as possible to avoid any possible disappointment.”