Polo match on St. Pete Beach adds coronavirus precautions

The games return this weekend for a second year behind the Don CeSar.

By Sharon Kennedy Wynne

It was a perfect pairing last year for the St. Pete Beach Polo Classic to set the Game of Kings at the “pink palace” known as the Don CeSar hotel. It returns this weekend with new protocols in place.

Organizers say there’s a clear hunger for entertainment — the $45 seated section of the polo games quickly sold out. But $15 standing general admission tickets are still available at eventbrite.com.

Last year drew 500 people a day, said Todd Gehrke, director of sales and marketing at the Don CeSar. For safety, they have reduced capacity and expect no more than 400 a day Saturday and Sunday, he said.

Hand washing stations and antibacterial stations will be provided. Ticketed groups are limited to tables of two or four. All staff will be masked, and attendees will be required to mask when they are not seated.

An announcer will provide commentary for those who don’t know the sport or the athletes. But a crowd wearing masks is a different element.

“I think we’ve found that it’s become a little bit more of the normal,” Gehrke said, who said outdoor events have become a bigger part of the hotel’s repertoire.

“There’s a desperate need in today’s for culture for some laughs and fun and something enjoyable,” Gehrke said. “Not surprisingly, we sold out tickets pretty quickly. People want to be out for sure.”

If you go

Beach Polo Classic: Horses and polo players will be playing 3 on 3 matches on St. Pete Beach behind the Don CeSar on Saturday and Sunday. 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach.

Admission: Seated tickets are sold out, but $15 general admission (standing) are available on Eventbrite.

When: Games are at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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