Jockey Club Hoping Preakness Attendance Rebounds After Three-Year Dip
Maryland Jockey Club President Tom Chuckas said that he is "hopeful next week’s 137th Preakness Stakes will draw 5,000 more people than last year, bringing attendance to levels before fans were banned from carrying in their own beer," according to Jack Lambert of the BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Chuckas said that ticket sales "are up over last year and he is 'cautiously optimistic' a crowd of 112,000 fans will flow into Pimlico Race Course for the May 19 race." Lambert noted about 107,000 fans "attended last year's race" and a 5% "increase to around 112,000 this year would get attendance figures back to peak levels" between '04-08. Attendance dipped in '09 "to nearly 78,000 after officials banned attendees from bringing their own beer on to the infield." Attendance figures have started to "creep back up, however, due to strong musical acts, discounted beer promotions like the all-you-can-drink Mug Club and launching Kegasus, a beer guzzling 'manimal.'" Meanwhile, Chuckas said that most of the corporate suites and hospitality tents "have already sold out." He added that Baltimore-based Under Armour has "increased the size of its hospitality tent and sponsorship presence at the event" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/9).