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"Facilities are stretched at these attendance levels" - Cheltenham to cap Festival crowds from 2023

16 Aug 2022
Jon Vine 16 Aug 2022
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  • Organisers have announced that ticket numbers will be capped during all four days of the Cheltenham Festival
  • A new record for the number of racegoers was set in 2022
  • Tickets will be limited to 68,500 for each day from 2023 to "improve the racegoer's experience"
cheltenham festival day four
Spectators are seen in the grandstand as they watch The Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle race during day four of the Cheltenham Festival 2022. (Getty)

After it was played out behind closed doors the previous year, Cheltenham Festival ticket sales reached new levels in 2022.

280,627 spectators passed through the Prestbury Park gates over the four days, a new record for the Cheltenham Festival. 73,754 were packed into the course on St Patrick's day, before 73,875 jubilant racegoers watched A Plus Tard power to Gold Cup victory the following Friday.

The income generated during that record-breaking meeting will have been most welcome, both for the racecourse and the surrounding businesses. However, many complained that such vast numbers of spectators damaged the whole Festival experience.

Ian Renton, director of Cheltenham racecourse, has listened to the concerns of the Prestbury Park patrons, and today announced that ticket sales will be capped to 68,500 for each day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.

"It was fantastic to attract capacity crowds on both Thursday and Friday to witness some brilliant racing in glorious sunshine."  Renton began. 

"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."

In total, 274,000 tickets will be sold for the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, just over 6,000 less than in 2022. Those wanting to attend "the greatest show on turf" next year will have to move quickly, though, as Renton revealed that tickets are already starting to sell out.

"Ticket sales for 2023 have been very brisk." Renton continued. "I'd advise those wishing to attend to book as soon as possible to avoid any possible disappointment." 


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