The COVID-19 outbreak—and Governor Cuomo’s subsequent executive order—has all but stamped out live events and activities in New York State for the moment. And it’s hard to see Saratoga’s summer not being adversely affected, in some way, even months down the line.
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) recently told Saratoga Living that it’s still planning on opening Saratoga Race Course on July 16. But it’s unclear how the pushed-back Kentucky Derby, for example, might affect the rollout of the Saratoga stakes schedule. The meet’s biggest draw, the Travers Stakes, usually includes horses that have competed in the three legs of the Triple Crown. But with the Derby now in September, does that mean the Travers might run earlier than expected?
The other big-time question mark is what will happen across town at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). The venue’s set to feature another robust classical slate from the New York City Ballet (July 14-18) and the Philadelphia Orchestra (August 5-22), as it has since the 1960s, as well as Live Nation‘s deep schedule of top concert series, the first of which features The Lumineers on June 6. While the show hasn’t been cancelled yet, the two shows following it have, on June 7 (Celtic Women) and June 13 (Zac Brown Band), respectively. Live Nation has booked events at SPAC through mid-September.
In terms of the SPAC classical season, it seems as though the show will go on, as long as a few factors work their way out. “At the moment, assuming the ban on gathering is lifted in time—and people are continuing to buy tickets—it is our intent to move forward with our full lineup of classical summer programming,” Elizabeth Sobol, President & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This follows up a statement from Sobol posted to the venue’s website regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and the steps its taking to ensure a path ahead.
As for Live Nation, the events giant didn’t immediately return Saratoga Living‘s email request for comment.
This is a developing story.