Getting your hands on Cheltenham tickets isn’t easy when the UK’s most popular horse racing festival comes around each year – but for those lucky enough to sample the taste of Cheltenham will tell you the wait is worth it.
Every year thousands of racegoers travel to Gloucestershire for the biggest National Hunt festival of the season, where Grade 1 races litter the field and iconic moments of sporting endeavour play out in front of their eyes.
If you’re new to horse racing betting then Paddy Power is here to help introduce you to the Cheltenham Festival. In this Demystifying Racing guide, we look at how many people attend Cheltenham, and how big the capacity of this remarkable racecourse is.
How many fans attend Cheltenham Festival?
Each year Cheltenham Festival grows in popularity, which makes snapping up Cheltenham tickets even harder to come by. But if you do manage to get a ticket for the festival, you’ll likely be one of 70,000 people per day who will be heading to this iconic racecourse.
Now, Cheltenham Festival itself can hold almost 72,000 fans at capacity per day. The fourth day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, which saw Al Boum Photo win the Gold Cup, was witnessed by a record-breaking 71,593 racegoers. That’s a lot of people streaming into town, staying overnight or getting late trains back home after a day of racing!
Across the course of the festival around 250,000 fans will watch the racing live. In 2019 the record was smashed for the total racegoers at 266,557. Since then we’ve had a full but not record-break Cheltenham in 2020, and an empty Cheltenham in 2021.
Whether we see a new record broken in 2022 remains to be seen. But perhaps unremarkably, during other race meetings at Cheltenham across the year there is a severe drop in numbers compared to the festival.
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Cheltenham grandstand capacity
While around 70,000 fans can cram into Cheltenham for one day of the festival, not everyone can enjoy the racing from the grandstand. Now, the grandstand is where the Cheltenham roar will first be heard as supporters wait for the first race on the Tuesday to get underway.
It is here that the horses will surge past on their way to the finish post, and where the majority of the atmosphere at Cheltenham is housed. The Cheltenham grandstand was extended in 2015 as part of a £45m development project to house more VIP lounges, restaurants and the royal box.
Cheltenham has developed its grandstands since the 1960s when the festival became increasingly popular among causal horse racing fans. Thousands can pack themselves into the stepped terraces of the grandstands and while there is no official capacity here, it’s where the heart of the action truly is.
- What does it mean when a horse is On the Bridle?
- What is a Black type horse race?
- What are the different types of going in horse racing?
- What is a bumper horse race?
- What are blinkers and why do some horses wear them?
- What is an Allowance Race in horse racing?
- What is the difference between hurdles and fences in National Hunt racing?
- What is a halter and why do some horses wear them?
- What does it mean when a horse has spread a plate?
- What is the Rule 4 betting rule in horse racing?
- What is the difference between graded, handicap and selling horse races?
- What does a novice hurdle in horse racing mean?
- What is a listed horse race?
- What does a novice chase in horse racing mean?
- Why do race horses have different ratings and what do they mean?
- When does the National Hunt season start and when does it end?
- Why are there different grades of horse race?
- Why are there 3 different types of National Hunt race?
- Why are race horses given different weights and what does it mean?
- How many different classes of horse race are there?
- What is a claiming race and what do they mean?
- What is an optional claimer in horse racing?
- What is a shadow roll and why do some race horses wear them?
- Why do some races start from stalls and some not?
- What is the difference between Derby and Oaks races?
- What does it mean when a horse knuckles during a horse race?
- What is a stayer in horse racing?
- What is a yearling horse and when are they ready to race?
- What does it mean if a horse has won a point race?
- What does a maiden mean in horse racing?
- How are horses’ ages calculated and why is it not the same as humans?
- What advantages do apprentice jockeys get when riding against professionals?
- What is a conditional jockey?
- What does the term ‘connections’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear cheekpieces?
- Who are the stewards in horse racing?
- What does ‘weighed in’ mean at the end of a horse race?
- What is a nursery race?
- Why are some National Hunt races run without fences?
- Why are some horses given a tongue tie during races?
- What does it mean when a horse is ‘pushed out’?
- How are horse racing ratings calculated?
- What does it mean when a horse has a ‘wind operation’?
- How high are the fences and hurdles in horse racing?
- What is an apprentice jockey?
- What is a Bull Ring in horse racing?
- What does the phrase ‘Look of Eagles’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear a ‘weight cloth’ during races?
- What is the Triple Crown in horse racing?
- What is a Steeplechase race in horse racing?
- How high are the Cheltenham Festival fences and hurdles?
- Why is the Champion Chase named after the Queen Mother?
- Why does Cheltenham racecourse have an Old Course and a New Course? What’s the differences between the two?
- What is the Cheltenham roar? What difference does it make in races?
- Why are there no jumps in the Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper?
- What is a juvenile in horse racing?