MADRID, Spain: The first bullfight in over one year is to be held in Spain on May 3 to raise money for unemployed bullfighters.
To be held in Madrid's Las Ventas bullring, the nation's most prestigious bullfighting arena, the proceeds will go to matadors left jobless by COVID-19, officials said on Saturday.
Nearly all of Spain's bullrings have been closed for over one year due to the Covid pandemic.
For the charity fundraiser, the arena will only allow 6,000 people to attend, which is 40 percent of its capacity.
As elsewhere in Spain, face masks will be mandatory and strict social distancing measures will be enforced.
Major bullfighting festivals, such as San Isidro, Sevilla's April Fair, and Pamplona's San Fermin, were cancelled last year, With no matches held in Spain, bulls reserved for the ring were, instead, sent to slaughterhouses.
In recent years, Spain has seen shifts in the public's enthusiasm for bullfighting.
In fact, attendance has dropped throughout the country and bullfighting has been struggling in recent years.
A 2019 poll for El Espaol, an online newspaper, found 56.4 percent of Spaniards opposed bullfighting, while 24.7 percent supported it and 18.9 percent were indifferent.
Also, local governments have been less inclined to provide financial backing for traditional bullfighting festivals.