Churchill Downs Upgrade Includes 2,400 New Seats, Hospitality Lounge For VIPs
Churchill Downs yesterday said that its "new grandstand seating near the Kentucky Derby starting gate will add 2,400 seats as part of" its $14.5M renovation project, according to Gregory Hall of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. The board of Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. "approved the plans Monday." An earlier version of the plan -- then called the Rooftop Garden -- was "filed earlier this month with Louisville Metro planning, but Churchill officials declined to discuss it in detail." The project is being called "the Grandstand Terrace," while the Rooftop Garden portion of the project "will be a hospitality lounge area for VIP guests." Construction will begin tomorrow and is "expected to be ready for the Kentucky Oaks on May 2 and Kentucky Derby on May 3." CDI VP/Racing Communications John Asher said that all ticket prices, "including the new seats and existing grandstand seats that will benefit are still being finalized." Asher said that first-floor amenities "will be open to anyone." Second floor terrace amenities "will be open to second and third floor grandstand seat holders." The renovation "includes 51,000 square feet of new space located behind existing stadium seating." Track officials said that the new seating will be the "first addition to the second- and third- floors of the Grandstand in 60 years." The additional sections would "bring the permanent seating to 55,638" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 7/31).