WELLINGTON, Fla. (CBS12) — The coronavirus pandemic is affecting many aspects of our lives, including sporting events.
The polo season is about a month away, and for Wellington, that’s a big deal.
In a normal season, winter polo matches are held at The International Polo Club Palm Beach every Sunday afternoon, which draw thousands of people.
However, that will not be the case when the International Polo Club Palm Beach resumes polo matches next month.
Probably the biggest change is the club will not be open to the general public. They will still have polo matches, but the only spectators will be season ticket holders who purchase a grand stand box.
Masks and social distancing will be required unless someone is mounted on a horse and competing.
Face masks can be removed when eating and drinking.
Grooms and players will have their temperature taken before each game.
Polo generates a lot of money for restaurants, hotels, feed stores and places that sell polo gear.
The founder of a polo gear shop in Wellington says COVID-19 will have a financial impact on the polo industry and the businesses in Wellington.
“I think it’s going to affect it, there’s no question. It will affect the number of players that can get here, it will affect the number of spectators. But it’s… we’re all excited to have a good season anyway,” said Gary Fellers, founder and CEO of PoloGear, a retail shop in Wellington.
Fellers says travel restrictions may make it more difficult for polo players to get here from Canada, Europe and Argentina.
He says he’s been blessed that he’s still been busy. He makes jerseys for players, sells polo boots, mallets and other gear.
Fellers’ business is global, so he does a lot of business on the internet and by phone.
The International Polo Club Palm Beach shut down completely last March when the coronavirus pandemic began.
There will be polo games at the complex every day because they have several polo fields. But the big games are held each Sunday, starting Jan. 3, 2021 and runs through mid-April.