NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Big changes are coming to Belmont for American Pharoah‘s attempt to break a 37-year Triple Crown losing streak.
One of them: a smaller crowd.
Track managers put an attendance cap of 90,000 on the event after a chaotic experience last year. The 102,000 spectators who came to see California Chrome’s triple try suffered through long lines at betting windows and bathrooms. Concession stands ran out of refreshments. Many spent hours jockeying for space on commuter trains or in jammed parking lots going home.
“It was brutal; close to a little dangerous,” recalled Frank Bellizzi, a San Francisco entrepreneur who owns a Napa Valley winery and attended last year’s race. “I would not come back. I have not been to a major sporting event with that level of ineptitude.”
Spokesman John Durso said there will no on-site, day-of ticket sales this year.
“If they do not have tickets on Belmont Stakes day they should not come out to Belmont Park,” he told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.