Churchill Downs Plans Major Facelift for the Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky has firmly established itself as one of the most iconic horse racing venues in the world.

This track is also home to the biggest horse betting event of the year in the United States. The first Saturday in May has been reserved for the running of the annual Kentucky Derby. This race features 20 of the best three-year-old Thoroughbred horses in each year’s class.

This race is also the Crowned Jewel of the annual Triple Crown racing series for three-year old’s. The other two major graded events are the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Building on its reputation as a premier horse racing facility, Churchill Downs recently announced plans for three major upgrades. The trio of projects is all designed to enhance the entire racing experience.

The first renovation project is the $45 million Homestretch Club. This will convert a section of outdoor bleacher seating into three unique seating options. Each will comes will an all-inclusive package of amenities.

The next project is the $90 million Turn 1 Experience. This will add permanent all-inclusive stadium seats to this particular section of the track.

The final renovation project is geared toward reducing the current congestion of guests moving through the Paddock and Plaza sections of the track.

These capital investments will take place over a planned three-year span. Each one will make its debut in time for that year’s Run for the Roses in the Kentucky Derby. The new Homestretch Club is first on the list. It should be ready in time for Derby Day in 2022.

The Paddock and Plaza redesign is the final project. This is set to be complete for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in 2024.

The Homestretch Club design will create luxury seating next to the Winner Circle Suites and just below the Jockey Club Suites. This new seating will enhance the racing experience through optimal viewing of the track’s Big Board display. It will also give patrons a bird’s eye view of the homestretch.

Overall, guests of the Homestretch Club will have access to 18,600 square feet of premium hospitality space. This will consist of the first-floor concourse. That area will be transformed into a high-end club and lounge. The grand staircase into this section will lead to the new 100-foot bar.

All-inclusive tickets for the Homestretch Club include 30 Trackside Lounges along the rail. There will also be 66 Terraced Dining Tables that can accompany up to 440 guests. There will be 2,610 Stadium Club seats as part of the ticket plan. The centerpiece of the Homestretch Club will be five private VIP Hospitality Lounges.

All told, the first phase of this massive renovation will offer a total of 3,250 all-inclusive seats to view the Kentucky Derby. This is a reduction of 1,950 seats that were part of the current grandstand area.

The Turn 1 Experience will convert 3,400 temporary seats into 5,100 all-inclusive permanent stadium seats. There will also be a separate Hospitality Venue as part of this premier seating package.

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