Kentucky Derby breaks Alabama's spring game record for USA's biggest crowd since start of pandemic
Alabama’s spring game attendance record for the most fans at an American sporting event since the start of the pandemic is no more.
The Kentucky Derby has announced an official attendance of 51,838 people, which beats the Crimson Tide’s mark by nearly 5,000 fans.
The official attendance of 51,838 at today’s #KentuckyDerby is the largest crowd at an American sporting event since the pandemic began 14 months ago. It tops the Alabama spring football game, which hosted 47,218 a couple weeks ago.
— Hayes Gardner (@HayesGardner) May 1, 2021
Of course, this is not a record that Alabama was ever going to hold onto for very long. College and professional sports teams are continuing to scale up stadium capacities, including Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
LSU also announced 100 percent capacity for outdoor sporting events earlier this week. College football stadiums are expected to be full — or nearly full — this fall.
Churchill Downs did have COVID-19 restrictions for this event — 40 percent of its regular capacity. The Derby’s official attendance in 2019 was 150,729 people, despite steady rain throughout the day.
As for the 2021 Kentucky Derby, it was won by 12-to-1 longshot Medina Spirit. It’s the seventh Derby win for legendary trainer Bob Baffert, and his fourth since 2015.