Kickoff to Belmont Stakes: Pop-up vaccine site opens ahead of race day

ELMONT, Nassau County (WABC) -- A new pop-up vaccination site opened Friday at Belmont Park, as Long Island prepares to welcome back fans for the Belmont Stakes, the third and final leg of the Triple Crown.

Those who get vaccinated at the park will also receive general admission tickets to next year's running of the Belmont Stakes.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by representatives of the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and The Garden City Hotel Friday to kick off Belmont Stakes Weekend.

The COVID-19 shutdown kept the Belmont Stakes closed to spectators and tourists, resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenue to businesses in Nassau County.

The return of the event is expected to help jump start the local economy, bring back jobs, and support local businesses.

The Belmont Stakes is one of the largest sporting events in the world, with tens of millions of viewers and spectators watching the famed sporting event from across the world.

The event means millions of dollars for the local economy, and Long Island restaurants, hotels, cafes, and merchants are expected to see a large spike in business.

Because of the pandemic, the race will be held in front of a much smaller crowd than usual -- only about 11,000 fans will be allowed into the park.

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