Del Mar planning for full seating capacity for horse races this summer

Opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack happened in front of empty grandstand.
Horses won’t be running in front of an empty grandstand this summer at Del Mar as they did in 2020.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Officials hoping to sell about 15,000 seats for each day of summer meeting


The horses will be running again seven weeks from this weekend at Del Mar, and officials are hoping for every seat in the facility to be filled.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced Friday morning, May 28, that in accordance with new state guidelines effective next month, it plans to offer 100 percent capacity in its seated areas during the summer race meeting, which begins July 16.

Total seating at the track in the Grandstand, Clubhouse, Turf Club, Skyrooms, Luxury and Celebrity Suites and its five major restaurants is just under 15,000.

General admission will not be offered as of now, but plans could change before the meeting closes on Labor Day, Sept. 6.

“We are delighted to be able to welcome our fans back to Del Mar,” said DMTC President and COO Josh Rubinstein. “We appreciate their patience as we have all adapted to the changing circumstances over the last 15 months.”

Seating packages that will include admission tickets and parking passes will be sold in advance of arrival at the track. Those packages will go on sale to the public June 18, with a presale available the previous day for those that sign up at the Del Mar website. Phone sales begin June 21.

As of now fans will be required to wear masks except when eating or drinking, although that could change. The state is expected to issue updated guidance June 15.

Racing will be conducted Friday through Sunday for the first two weekends before shifting to four days a week July 29 (and five days the final week).