Tuesday morning, the Churchill Downs announced that the 146th Kentucky Derby would be postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead of taking place on May 2, the fan-favorite event would be moved to Sept. 5. This will be the first time since 1945 that the Kentucky Derby will not be held in May.
"For the second time in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby, the first time being at the end of World War II, we will move the date of the Derby," Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said on Tuesday morning via ESPN. "Our team is united in our commitment to holding the very best Kentucky Derby ever and certainly the most unique in any of our lifetimes."
With this news, the fans reacted with a mix of surprise, happiness, and anger. There were many overjoyed about the ability to end the summer by watching a highly-anticipated matchup. Others were just frustrated that another sporting event had been canceled.
Of course, there were many fans concerned about the Kentucky Derby's impact on the overall sports schedule. Would it distract from other popular events on Sept. 5?
Gonna be a long summer— wiseguysportswager (@wiseguyswager) March 17, 2020
With the Kentucky Derby being moved to early September, there is now a lack of sporting events to look forward to. NASCAR, UFC, the NBA, NHL and MLB have all delayed multiple upcoming dates, leaving a massive hole on the calendar.
Sports fans have reacted by simply wondering what they will focus on in the coming weeks. They won't have the playoffs or any big events to watch. How will they pass the time?
Sweet! This girl loves @KentuckyDerby! Y'all, Labor Day weekend just got a lot more exciting! #derby2020 #traditioncontinues #kentuckygirl #happydance #runfortheroses #runforthelilies #wheresmyhat https://t.co/kQUCljfirY— Southern Kinda Sweet (@SouthKindaSweet) March 17, 2020
Labor Day weekend is viewed as the official end to summer. Many schools kick off the year following this holiday, which means that many families often take trips during the first weekend of September to properly finish off the break.
With the Kentucky Derby now moving to Sept. 5, there are opportunities for some alternative destinations. Some families could head to the most popular event of the year.
Yes love seeing things moved and will happen. Is it smart for Kentucky Derby to go up against college football. Jam packed fall tennis calendar.— Jim Biringer (@JimBiringer) March 17, 2020
There was a concern mentioned on Tuesday when Churchill Downs revealed that the Kentucky Derby had been postponed. Specifically, there were some fans wondering if it would impact their favorite weekend of the year.
Sept. 5 is considered to be the opening day of college football. This Saturday marks the first games for top teams such as USC, Alabama, LSU and Stanford. However, there will be an excess of events given that the Kentucky Derby will take place on the same day.
One of the unique aspects of the Kentucky Derby is that fans get to enjoy specialty drinks. Mint Juleps are among the top choices of attendees. However, this is more of a spring/early summer drink, so how will the fans adapt?
As some users pointed out, this could be the perfect opportunity for the Kentucky Derby to embrace an annual tradition. It's time to start selling specialty Pumpkin Spice drinks.
Now the Kentucky Derby!!— Danny no-hops (@danielscottmyer) March 17, 2020
I just ordered this hat! pic.twitter.com/mLi6JXbZtC
The Kentucky Derby is a fan-favorite event in that it provides the opportunity for the attendees to dress up in unique outfits. They put on the fanciest dresses and custom suits. Female attendees incorporate large hats into their outfits.
With the race being postponed until September, will this affect the headwear? Will the fans have to find different options that fit the late summer/early fall motif? This will be an important decision for some fans of the Kentucky Derby.
A Big Deal
The number of people I see diminishing the importance of the Kentucky Derby based on when it will be run is astounding to me. It's not just a Grade 1 race restricted to 3-year-olds. It's the damn Derby.— Ryan Dickey (@rdickey249) March 16, 2020
With the announcement of the postponed Kentucky Derby, there were some users on Twitter that didn't particularly care. In their opinion, this was just a simple race. What was the big deal?
One reason for the fans feeling that this is a major decision is that the Kentucky Derby is attended by a considerable number of fans. More than 150,000 were on hand for last year's event, which is not a small amount.
Place Your Bets
Having the Kentucky Derby moved to September means that those fond of gambling will not be able to place any wagers on the first Saturday in May. However, there will be ample opportunities during Labor Day weekend.
The opening weekend of September marks the return of both the NFL and college football, so gambling fans can place bets on a variety of sporting events. The Kentucky Derby just adds another opportunity.
(Photo Credit: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)