The effects of the coronavirus are being felt worldwide as our favourite sports and events are finding postponements and cancellations – many felt it may have been lucky that Cheltenham was able to squeak through and take place without issue, but has since come under fire as a number of attendees would be tested positive with COVID-19 a few days following. Many have suggested that the event should’ve erred on the side of caution, but with the huge costs that go into organising these events, it’s always a difficult decision to make – especially at a time where the full effects of the coronavirus spread weren’t fully understood yet. But with all the news of the big names suffering from the losses, many forget those who are partnered with our favourite biggest events who may not be able to recover once things calm down.
Event Suppliers – Ranging from tents and marquees to display stands and roller banners – the companies that rely on these bigger events taking place are falling into increasing struggles as business begins to dry up. Larger events are the bread and butter for these companies and whilst they do rely on some consumer interest, the numbers are comparable to what can be gained from having an appearance at the biggest racing events of the year. Whilst there is still a lot of uncertainty around when many of these events may get underway again, the concern continues to build for the event suppliers that may not be able to recover at all.
Betting Companies – A huge part of horse racing is the betting that comes alongside it, and no horse racing means no betting. This is being felt across the full width of the industry as sport cancellations globally are spelling disaster for the gaming operators – there are talks for these companies to partner up with others in the tourism and hospitality industry to work toward getting a better deal, but this may also depend on when things get underway again. There are a list of those not registered with preventative measures who are relying on their online casino counterparts that are performing quite well – but as a whole, the industry outlook is bleak.
And of course the vast number of support staff that attend these events that are now out of a job – those who take care of the grounds, hired to man the marquees, to take care of the horses and the jockeys – many are now out of a job. The next big major horse racing event set to take place would be the Royal Ascot in June, and although the lockdown in the UK is set to be re-assessed in May, it’s likely that events for the months following will be held without any fans in attendance – after the events of Cheltenham, the organisers of the Royal Ascot will have taken a lesson from the perceived failures – but many suspect in the coming weeks we will receive news that the event, and a number of smaller events scheduled for May and June, will be cancelled entirely.