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
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
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
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
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
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.