Perth Racecourse hopes to start welcoming a small crowd back to its Scone track at the end of the month amid ongoing cash problems.
Bosses are in talks with the Scottish Government and Perth and Kinross Council’s safety advisory group to discuss allowing a restricted number of attendees to their two-day Glourious Finale event on September 23 and 24.
It comes as the course’s chief executive, Hazel Peplinski, asks customers to transfer advanced tickets to 2021 to help its “precariously low cash position”.
The racecourse held a successful bet365 Perth Gold Cup event behind closed doors on Sunday and will again be without fans for the Autumn Raceday meet on Monday.
However, organisers have set their sights on the end of September finale in the hope they can have crowds back track-side for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown.
Ms Peplinski said: “While we have been heartened by the ability to host behind closed doors meetings in recent weeks and thereby positively contribute to the economic impact of the industry, there has also been a concerted effort to work towards the safe return of crowds in the shape of pilot events in the near future.
“Whilst we have a full operational plan drafted and ready to progress we are now awaiting further advice from Scottish Government.
“It would be a positive step forward to be able to allow even a very restricted crowd in to our final meeting but at this time it is impossible to say how feasible this might be.
“We all just have to remain patient and understand that this is an incredibly difficult situation with our top priority as always being everyone’s safety. ”
If the racecourse does not get the go ahead for public opening the two-day festival will go ahead as a closed door event.
The uncertainty means advance ticket sales for all three September fixtures have been cancelled and all ticket holders are being offered two options – to transfer to the equivalent fixture next year or to request a refund.
The chief executive said: “Every ticket that is transferred to next year, rather than being refunded, is such a positive step in preserving our precariously low cash position.
“We are all hoping that by April 2021 the pandemic has been brought fully under control and we can once again enjoy our wonderful sport with the vital missing ingredient that only busy enclosures can provide.”
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