Few dozen fans on hand for first look at live racing at Arlington Park

  • Pete and Kay Stenberg of Crown Point, Indiana, relax between races Thursday at Arlington Park.

    Pete and Kay Stenberg of Crown Point, Indiana, relax between races Thursday at Arlington Park. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • The lower level of Arlington Park opened Thursday to view horse racing in person for the first time this season. The facility is allowing up to 300 people in to watch the races Thursdays through Saturdays through Sept. 26.

    The lower level of Arlington Park opened Thursday to view horse racing in person for the first time this season. The facility is allowing up to 300 people in to watch the races Thursdays through Saturdays through Sept. 26. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Pete and Kay Stenberg and their nephew Johnny came from Crown Point, Indiana, to see horse racing in person at Arlington Park Thursday. They had plenty of room as the facility is allowing only 300 fans.

    Pete and Kay Stenberg and their nephew Johnny came from Crown Point, Indiana, to see horse racing in person at Arlington Park Thursday. They had plenty of room as the facility is allowing only 300 fans. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/3/2020 5:57 PM

With face masks firmly in place against the wind and COVID-19, Pete and Kay Stenberg lay back on the warm pavement with room to spare between live horse racing Thursday at Arlington Park.

"I'm surprised more people aren't here to see racing on a beautiful day," Kay said as she looked around at the nearly empty ground level on the first day of in-person viewing at the racetrack.

 

The retired couple drove from their Crown Point, Indiana, home with their nephew Johnny Stenberg. They plan to come every week until the end of the season.

"He lives for the horses," she said of Johnny, who has autism.

A few dozen fans were on hand to mark the first time the local oval has opened to the public during this year's pandemic-shortened 30-day season that started July 23. Strict COVID-19 protocols are in place to keep visitors and staff safe.

Arlington officials received permission Aug. 27 to host up to 300 spectators per live racing day, Thursdays through Saturdays through Sept. 26.

A limited number of tickets are being sold online only and will be accepted at the west gate only if they are displayed on a mobile device.

All guests must be at least 18 and must wear a mask at all times unless eating or drinking. All visitors must stay on the terrace level and stay socially distanced. No guests are allowed inside the facility except to use a restroom.

To purchase tickets and view a complete list of rules, go to www.arlingtonpark.com/.

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