SBD/December 6, 2013/Facilities

Churchill Downs Struggles During Fall Meet As Visitors Complain About Experience

Fans have expressed dissatisfaction with concessions and hospitality at the track
Churchill Downs' fall racing "was a bad meet" for the track, as there has almost never been a "fall meet met with less enthusiasm," according to Jennie Rees of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. For the first time in memory, purses at the Churchill Downs Inc.-owned Fair Grounds in New Orleans "were better than those at Churchill's fall meet." Churchill Downs "has run off fans through actions such as eliminating the Twin Spires Club that let members get in for a buck." Longtime Churchill Downs attendee Howard Lerner said, "I have never, ever, in all the years I’ve been following it had less interest in what is going on at Churchill Downs than I have right now. My views are that the management of Churchill Downs wants to run everybody off. For instance, how can you invite somebody to spend an entire day with you to bet simulcast racing and not provide a hamburger for them? The food is absolutely horrible. They offer you premade sandwiches. 'Take it or leave it. And if you don’t like it, go home and bet on'" Rees wrote Churchill and its corporate management "might think they do a lot for the average fan -- their consumers -- but those I hear from just don’t see it" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 12/4).
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