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Sunday October 17th, 2021 11:28PM

The Latest: Preakness to run in front of 10,000 fans in May

By The Associated Press
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The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The Preakness will be run in front of a limited capacity of 10,000 fans at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on May 15.

Organizers of the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown announced the decision Tuesday. Churchill Downs has said it expects the Kentucky Derby to be run in front of roughly 40-50% of capacity May 1 in Louisville. Typically, the Preakness draws over 100,000 spectators.

The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont were run out of order last year with no fans in attendance. It’s not immediately clear what the capacity will be at Belmont Park on June 5, though New York State has set 10% capacity limits for other sports.

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Thirteen sports leagues have teamed with Willie Nelson on a PSA encouraging people to get the latest information on COVID-19 vaccinations.

Joining with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative as part of its vaccine education program, the NFL, NHL, MLB, PGA Tour, MLS, NASCAR, NBA, WNBA, American Horse Council, Athletes Unlimited, NWSL, US Open Tennis Championships and WWE participated. The PSA highlights iconic moments in sport accompanied by a new recording of “I’ll Be Seeing You” performed by Grammy Award-winner Nelson.

“In the song, I sing ‘I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places,’ and that’s exactly what I hope these PSAs will help do; help get Americans informed about the vaccines and one step closer to the people and moments we miss,” Nelson said. “I’m happy to be part of this new campaign with the Ad Council, COVID Collaborative and these sports organizations to empower millions more to get the answers they need and feel confident in getting vaccinated, like I did.”

Among the moments celebrated in the video are Jordan Spieth after winning a golf tournament; Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff at the U.S. Open; and Pete Alonso hitting a home run.

Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, the Ad Council has mobilized the industry to launch a multi-pronged communications effort to combat COVID-19. To date, the Ad Council’s COVID-19 response efforts have resulted in 44 billion impressions, $456 million in donated media value, and over 33 million visits to Coronavirus.gov.

“The NFL is pleased to join with the other professional sports leagues to encourage communities to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Anna Isaacson, NFL senior vice president of social responsibility. “The NFL has a longstanding record of working to make positive change in communities, and through this vaccine education campaign we are committed to using our platform to help people make informed decisions about what is best for them.”

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Georgia Tech has delayed the start of spring football practice because of positive COVID-19 tests.

The Yellow Jackets were scheduled to hold their first practice on Tuesday.

“We received word this morning of a small number of positive COVID-19 tests within our program,” coach Geoff Collins said. “We will always err on the side of caution when it comes to the health and safety of our players and staff.”

Georgia Tech had prepared for the possibility by building extra days into its practice schedule, Collins added. He said the Yellow Jackets “fully intend to still hold our 15 practices allowed by the NCAA this spring.”

The school will hold off practicing until getting clearance from its medical experts.

Georgia Tech is coming off a 3-7 season and is 6-16 in two years under Collins.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online Golf, AP Sports - NFL, AP Sports - PGA
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