Spectator capacity at Cheltenham will be capped at 68,500 people per day for the four days of the 2023 Festival in a move to enhance the experience of racegoers attending, the Jockey Club has announced.
This year’s Festival attracted a record aggregate attendance of 280,627, including record individual attendances for both Thursday (73,754) and Friday (73,875).
As part of planning next year’s event, the Jockey Club said it had gathered and reviewed feedback from racegoers and participants about their experience, and while the feedback was “very positive towards the world-class sport on offer and the high standards of facilities at Cheltenham … it was also clear that many wished to see reduced spectator numbers to ease movement around the course and enhance service times”.
Ian Renton, the Jockey Club’s managing director for Cheltenham and the 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 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.”