1,000 fans will be allowed in to watch Anthony Joshua defend his world titles against Kubrat Pulev

Racing at Lingfield Park is set to be the first competitive sporting event in the UK to host fans since March next Wednesday while 1,000 boxing fans will be allowed in to watch Anthony Joshua‘s world title defence against Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena on December 12 following the announcement of a new regional tier system today.

The UK government gave the green light for the return of fans at a limited capacity after confirming the restrictions for their new tier system. 

Surrey has been placed in Tier 2 so a limited number of spectators will be able to watch the racing at Lingfield Park on December 2 with tickets expected to go on sale later today or on Friday as they get ready to welcome fans back.  

London has also been placed in Tier 2 so a restricted number of boxing fans will be allowed in to see Joshua’s first fight in a year when he puts his heavyweight titles on the line against Pulev in the capital next month. 

Lingfield Park racecourse is set to be first competitive sporting event to welcome fans back

Lingfield Park racecourse is set to be first competitive sporting event to welcome fans back

Lingfield Park racecourse is set to be first competitive sporting event to welcome fans back

1,000 fans will be able to attend Anthony Joshua's fight with Kubrat Pulev on December 12

1,000 fans will be able to attend Anthony Joshua's fight with Kubrat Pulev on December 12

1,000 fans will be able to attend Anthony Joshua’s fight with Kubrat Pulev on December 12

Heavyweight champion puts his belts on the line at Wembley Arena, London - which is in Tier 2

Heavyweight champion puts his belts on the line at Wembley Arena, London - which is in Tier 2

Heavyweight champion puts his belts on the line at Wembley Arena, London – which is in Tier 2

Boxing and other elite sports, including darts, rugby and horse racing, will now be able to welcome spectators back – which for many will be the first time since the coronavirus pandemic swept Britain and forced the first national lockdown in March – if the events are being staged in areas across England in either Tiers 1 or 2. No fans will be able to attend any sporting events in locations in Tier 3. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed in the House of Commons on Thursday which tier each area of England has been placed in as part of the new regional restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, which come into force on Wednesday, December 2 – meaning this weekend’s big heavyweight fight between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce in London will still be going ahead behind closed doors. 

Events taking place outdoors in Tier 1 can have as many as 4,000 spectators present while in Tier 2 2,000 can attend. Social distancing measures will still be in place. For indoor events in Tier 1 or 2 it is half the number allowed for outdoors.

If the capacity of the sporting venues does not exceed the maximum number of spectators they are allowed determined by the tier system, then it is understood they can run at up to 50 per cent full capacity providing distancing can be maintained.

Other racing meets on December 2 at Haydock, Ludlow and Kempton Park should also be able to have spectators back as they are all in Tier 2 areas.

Matt Hancock revealed which tier each area of England has been placed in on Thursday

Matt Hancock revealed which tier each area of England has been placed in on Thursday

Matt Hancock revealed which tier each area of England has been placed in on Thursday

Barry Hearn told Sportsmail he will wait for more information before putting tickets up for sale for this year's World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace - which is normally a sellout

Barry Hearn told Sportsmail he will wait for more information before putting tickets up for sale for this year's World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace - which is normally a sellout

Barry Hearn told Sportsmail he will wait for more information before putting tickets up for sale for this year’s World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace – which is normally a sellout

A spokesperson at Haydock told Sportsmail: ‘It is looking hopeful that we can have fans back in on December 2 and that would be great. We are reviewing the guidelines closely and will make an announcement shortly.’
The Darts World Championships at Alexandra Palace, which will take place across December and January, has become a sporting staple over the Christmas period but PDC chairman Barry Hearn told Sportsmail he is waiting for more details from the Government before putting tickets on sale to fans.
He said: ‘The devil is in the detail and we don’t know enough right now. We need to know what restrictions there are and how it affects commercial viability of selling tickets.
‘They might say we can’t sell to people in Tier 3, which is where a huge number of our market is. Is alcohol going to be allowed? Chanting?
‘We are geared up for fans to come back. If they give me 1,000 I will be over the moon but we waiting on more information.
‘We have got the AJ fight coming up as well without a ticketing agency, but believe you me we are standing by and waiting to press a big red button on my desk.
‘But we need more. We have to do things in a healthy and safe environment and the last thing we want to do is put something on and disappoint the fans.’
Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce's heavyweight clash this Saturday is before the new rules come into force - meaning it will have to go ahead behind closed doors

Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce's heavyweight clash this Saturday is before the new rules come into force - meaning it will have to go ahead behind closed doors

Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce’s heavyweight clash this Saturday is before the new rules come into force – meaning it will have to go ahead behind closed doors 

England play at Twickenham on December 6 and will have a limited crowd present

England play at Twickenham on December 6 and will have a limited crowd present

England play at Twickenham on December 6 and will have a limited crowd present

Providing London remains in Tier 2, fighting fans will also be allowed in for Billy Joe Saunders’ WBO super-middleweight title defence against British rival Martin Murray at Wembley Arena on December 4. 

It is also expected that at least 1,000 supporters will be permitted to attend England’s Autumn Nations Cup finals game on December 6 at Twickenham.

However, Bristol Bears’ Premiership rugby clash with Northampton Saints next Friday will still have to be played behind closed doors as Bristol has been placed in Tier 3. 

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