Cheltenham Festival to slash crowd numbers for 2023 but punters doubt it will make any difference | The Sun
16th August 2022

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL is to slash its crowd numbers for next year – but punters doubt it will make any difference.

Bosses will cap the number of racegoers to 68,500 – down roughly 5,000 on the record numbers seen on the Thursday and Friday of this year's Festival.

However, punters think the cap won't really affect their raceday experience at Prestbury Park.

There was outrage last year over the price of a pint and the queues for food and toilets.

The Jockey Club said the latest change came about after feedback from punters and participants – and mirrors Royal Ascot's successful 'limited crowd number' scheme.

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.

Most read in Horse Racing

FIVER FLUTTER

Rinse the bookies with this Hamilton double on Tuesday

TEMPLEGATE'S TIPS

My NAP should dominate at Hamilton and help build the bank for York

YOR ON

Templegate reveals his big banker, lay and must-see longshot for York Ebor Festival

ELL OF A CHANGE

Gordon Elliott's legendary horse looks unrecognisable in new career

OFFERS OF THE DAY

William Hill: Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets CLAIM HERE

Betfair Bet £10 Get £30CLAIM HERE

Paddy Power: Bet £20 and get it back as Cash if it LosesacingCLAIM HERE

Sky BetBet anything and get £30 in Free BetsCLAIM HERE

Ladbrokes Bet £5 Get £20 – CLAIM HERE

Coral Bet £5 Get £20 – CLAIM HERE

William Hill: 18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 13.04.2022. £30 bonus. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook. Further terms apply. Begambleaware.org#ad

Betfair – Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly 18+ begambleaware.org

Paddy Power: New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any market at odds of min 2.0 (EVS) and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+ Begambleaware.org

Sky Bet: NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY,FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY, 5p MINIMUM STAKE, 3 x £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS EXCLUDE VIRTUALS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS AND FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+ BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG

Ladbrokes: 18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org

Coral: Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cash-out, restrictions & T&Cs apply. 18+ T&Cs Apply. Begambleaware.org

"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."

However, other punters thought this was a ploy to ease in the prospect of a five-day Festival.

An extra day's racing at the year's biggest meeting has long been a bone of contention in the sport.

It makes sense for racecourse bosses to want an extra day's action on what in all likelihood will be the Saturday.

But some owners and punters think the prospect of potentially seven more races will dilute the action even further.

Racing fans were quick to take to social media to voice their opinions on the latest change, which comes after police warned of the 'lack of control' during raceweek.

One said: "Buzzing. Might only take one hour to get a Guinness now."

Another commented: "Looks like the PR battle to butter people up for a fifth day has begun…"

One post read: "Right decision. Ridiculous how busy it was this year!"

A fellow Twitter user wrote: "Definitely a sensible move in terms of people management but can’t help but think prices will be even higher next year to compensate the lower attendance."

While one said simply: "Now reduce the price of a Guinness, cheers."

FREE BETS GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE

Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org

Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chases their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

    Source: Read Full Article