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SBD/June 25, 2014/Events and Attractions
Keeneland, Del Mar Will Expand Capacity For Breeders' Cup With Temporary Seating
Published June 25, 2014
COME ONE, COME ALL? In Kentucky, Janet Patton in a front-page piece writes the experience at the '15 Breeders' Cup "will vary depending on how much you can spend." And it will "hinge on how lucky you are at getting tickets, which will be limited in supply." Keeneland "anticipates maybe 10,000 general admission tickets." Thomason: "It won't be more than that." Several new hospitality tents "will be trackside, including a South Lawn tent for almost 400 people next to the Clubhouse that may become the hottest ticket going." Two double-decker hospitality areas on the Clubhouse parking lot "will give an additional 5,622 people a great view of the final turn." Keeneland "will not open the infield" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 6/25). Thomason: "We can do something very unique in this market with people who really understand the horse." Thomason added that with the '15 event "taking place before daylight-saving time ends, there will be no need to install temporary lights at Keeneland" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 6/25).
GO DIEGO GO: Del Mar President & GM Joe Harper said that for the '17 Breeders' Cup, temporary seats "will be added, and luxury suites ... will be enlarged ... to accommodate a much larger crowd than what is typical" for the track outside of San Diego. Del Mar COO Josh Rubinstein said that an effort "will be made to spread out" patrons throughout complex, "with beer gardens, a Taste of San Diego and other venues in the track’s concert area and infield to 'take pressure off the grandstand.'" Harper said that an agreement with the Breeders’ Cup "was structured to safeguard the nonprofit Thoroughbred Club and the state from potential economic risks." In San Diego, Lori Weisberg notes nearly all expenses "will be borne by the Breeders’ Cup, which will also reap most of the admissions and wagering revenue" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 6/25).
FUTURE SITES? Santa Anita President and Breeders' Cup BOD member Tom Ludt said that the board "felt like the event should rotate after being held at Santa Anita three years in a row" (PASADENA STAR-NEWS, 6/25). In Kentucky, Alicia Wincze Hughes writes yesterday's confirmation of the Breeders' Cup's three-year plan "highlighted a perceived rift between the organization" and Churchill Downs. Since it began in '84, the Breeders' Cup "has never gone longer than five years without returning to the track, which has produced the largest single-day and two-day handles, and highest attendance, in the event's history." The "supposed snubbing of Churchill Downs has been viewed by some as the result of a disagreement over finances." However, Farish said there was "not a rift at all." He "did not rule out the event returning beneath the Twin Spires." Churchill Downs VP/Communications John Asher said that the track's relationship with Breeders' Cup "was 'good' and that it welcomed news of a Kentucky-based Breeders' Cup" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 6/25).