Churchill Downs announced three major multi-year capital investments to transform key areas at the home of the Kentucky Derby. Plans include the debut of a new project each year over the next three years, beginning with the Homestretch Club for Kentucky Derby 2022 and culminating with a Paddock area redesign for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in 2024.
The Homestretch Club will renovate and update the grandstand area adjacent to the Twin Spires along the famed track’s homestretch. The project will convert what is currently outdoor bleacher seating next to the Winner’s Circle Suites and below the Jockey Club Suites into three unique seating options with all-inclusive amenities. This seating offers a view of the starting gate, a vantage of the track’s Big Board, and a bird’s eye view of the homestretch.
Ticketed guests in the Homestretch Club will have access to 18,600 square feet of the new premium hospitality space in the first-floor concourse area that will be transformed into a high-end air-conditioned club atmosphere to place bets, with food and beverage offerings as well as other amenities. The hospitality space will feature a grand staircase and a 100 ft. feature bar.
The new all-inclusive ticket offerings for the Homestretch Club will include 30 Trackside Lounges along the rail for up to 200 guests, 66 Terraced Dining Tables for up to 440 guests, 2,610 Stadium Club seats, and 5 private VIP Hospitality Lounges for up to 60 guests.
In total, the project will provide for 3,250 all-inclusive seats, which is 1,950 fewer reserved seats than were previously in this area. The $45 million Homestretch Club project is scheduled for completion in time for the 148th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7, 2022.
The Turn 1 Experience will introduce permanent all-inclusive stadium seats at Churchill Downs with exclusive views of the Kentucky Derby walkover and the first turn framed by the Twin Spires. The project will upgrade and expand what is currently 3,400 temporary Oaks and Derby seats to 5,100 all-inclusive permanent stadium seats.
The permanent construction will also add a climate-controlled hospitality venue below the new stadium seats that will serve as premium seating for up to 2,000 guests who will have access to an adjacent trackside reserved viewing terrace.
The Turn 1 Experience will include 5,100 Covered Stadium Seats, 50,000 square feet of climate-controlled Hospitality Venue, which includes reserved dining room tables for up to 2,000 guests with an adjacent trackside Viewing Terrace, and 2 Concourses to allow for better guest circulation and additional customer amenities for stadium seat-ticketed guests.
In total, the project will provide for 7,100 all-inclusive seats, which is 3,700 more reserved seats than were previously in this area. The $90 million Turn 1 Experience is scheduled for completion in time for the 149th Kentucky Derby in 2023.
The combination of these two capital projects will result in a net addition of 1,750 premium reserved seats.
The Paddock Area Redesign is in the early design stage and will transform the existing Paddock area in a manner that will enhance the experience for nearly every guest who enters the gates of the historic racetrack. The redesign will reduce congestion by improving the flow of guests through the Paddock and Plaza areas. This project is tentatively scheduled to debut for the 150th Kentucky Derby in 2024. More details will be shared in the coming months.
The President of Churchill Downs Racetrack Mike Anderson, said: “We have so much to anticipate as we look toward the 150th Kentucky Derby in 2024. We’ve listened to our customers’ feedback over the years and the response to those demands can be seen in these upcoming capital projects. The design of each will blend 147 years of tradition with an updated atmosphere that celebrates our storied past and ushers in a spectacular future for Churchill Downs.”