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2020 saw a huge amount of disruption to the sporting calendar, as some of the biggest and best events of the years were either cancelled, delayed, or carried out behind closed doors.
Looking forward to next year, which of these occasions can we expect to see return to normal?
The Kentucky Derby
In 2020, the Kentucky Derby was moved from its traditional date at the start of May to September, when it was held behind closed doors. The winner was Authentic, owned by Bob Baffert and ridden by John Velazquez.
For 2021, the date of the race is set to be May 1, and it seems that there is currently no intention of this date being changed. However, it is thought that there will be a smaller than normal crowd at Churchill. Downs, with general admission tickets not going on sale until close to the day.
If the Covid crisis eases before then, they may be able to put more seating up for sale. This would help to make up for the disrupted event in 2020, and we can expect more people looking for details on where to find Kentucky Derby odds next year too.
Click here to know where we stand on the odds for the competition next year: https://www.twinspires.com/kentuckyderby/odds
The US Tennis Open
The 140th running of this Grand Slam event took place in New York in 2020, but no spectators were allowed to enter and some big names like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer opted out of playing in it.
The men’s event was won by Dominic Thiem and the women´s title went to Naomi Osaka. 2021 will see it take place in the same location and on the same dates, with August 30 to September 12 the dates when the action will take place at Flushing Meadows.
There has been no official confirmation yet of whether the full crowd capacity will be permitted, and this is likely to be something that is revealed closer to the time, according to the on-going health situation across the world.
The Indianapolis 500
This race was run for the 104th time in 2020, but it was held in late August rather than its usual date in May. The location was unaffected but no fans were able to enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway arena this year.
An exciting finish saw Takuma Sato win this race for the second time, ahead of Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal. Various of the usual events and festivities were cancelled, giving the whole thing an unusual feel this year.
In 2021, it is expected to return to its traditional date in May, with a more familiar feel to the itinerary as well. It isn’t yet clear how many spectators will be allowed in, but those who attend will get to see possibly one of the most exciting field of rookies to ever take part.
The US Golf Open
This was another major sporting event that was postponed, moving from June to become the first US Open played in September for over a century. As with the other tournaments and races we have looked at, no crowds were allowed in.
It took place at the Winged Foot Golf Club in New York, with a par of 70. The overall winner was Bryson DeChambeau, who won his first major by shooting 274 to finish six strokes ahead of second-placed Mathew Wolff.
The situation is expected to improve in 2021, with the Torrey Pines course in San Diego the location for this event in June. Plans are currently being made to sell tickets and the exact number of spectators is likely to be known before too long.
There you have it, 4 sporting events that might return to normal next year. However, it depends on a positive outcome of the COVID-19 situation and that a vaccine enters in circulation sooner than later.