Crowd capacity this year’s Royal Ascot will be reduced as the track attempts to “improve customer experience” at the showpiece meeting.
Attendance at the fixture was capped at 12,000 last year due to covid restrictions and following feedback from racegoers, plus what Ascot has termed “a long term ambition”, numbers will be reduced across the Royal Enclosure, Queen Anne Enclosure and Windsor Enclosure for all five days of the Royal meeting.
The Royal Enclosure capacity will reduced by 1,000 people while the Royal Enclosure Gardens will be extended to create a new area next to the track.
Capacities for the Queen Anne and Windsor Enclosures will be reduced by 4,150 and 2,000 respectively and new facilities will be introduced while the Village Enclosure, located on the Heath in the middle of the course, will be in operation for the first time since 2019, with “space and scope” to increase the previous capacity of 6,500.
Felicity Barnard, Ascot’s commercial director, said: “We are really pleased to be making these customer-focused changes to Royal Ascot this summer. They will provide an improved experience for all our racegoers across the three main enclosures, ensuring a more enjoyable atmosphere and better access to facilities throughout the site.
“A key message in the feedback from the 2021 Royal Meeting, when attendance was limited to 12,000 per day as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme, was that people really appreciated the benefit of additional space.
“This set us on a journey to look at how we could reduce density to improve comfort across the site going forward in a ‘normal’ scenario. Incorporating feedback from previous years and other racedays, it became clear to us that we needed to make a fundamental change in terms of the capacities across the site.”
Barnard went on: “This was especially the case in our premier public area — the Queen Anne Enclosure — and reducing the number of people there significantly and investing in improved facilities will deliver a much better environment for people to enjoy the world-class racing on show.
“It is crucial that we protect the unique and very special sense of occasion that people feel when they come to Royal Ascot and we hope that these changes will provide an enhanced experience for all our racegoers.
“Ticket sales have been strong since launch last summer and they will clearly be in higher demand as a result of these changes at what will be a special Royal Meeting in the Platinum Jubilee year.”