Churchill Downs’ 2015 capital project is the construction of 20 private, open-air, all-inclusive Winner’s Circle Suites; the creation of the Courtyard that will accommodate more than 600 temporary premium seats during Derby Week while providing a relaxed park-like setting for everyday racing fans the rest of the year; and a redesigned Trackside Winner’s Circle.
The $4.2 million capital improvement project designed to enhance the experience for owners that start horses in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Longines Kentucky Oaks was announced last October, began in December and is nearing its completion.
The exclusive owner’s area is conveniently located adjacent to the Trackside Winner’s Circle with easy access to the racetrack and paddock runway with minimized congestion. The number of complimentary tickets for all participating owners in the Derby and Oaks will be tripled to up to 18 tickets for their respective race day. The Winner’s Circle Suites feature comfortable undercover seating with in-venue wagering options and full-service hospitality, including a premium open bar and gourmet food. Also, guests will have access to an indoor, semi-private hospitality area and restrooms exclusive to the venue.
The Courtyard, a family-friendly green space, is a spacious lawn area in front of the new Winner’s Circle Suites. For Derby Week, more than 600 temporary premium seats will be configured in traditional rows and aisles with padded chairs, and those guests – along with patrons in Sections 218-219 – will have access to an exclusive hospitality space with an all-inclusive menu and restrooms. After Derby, the versatile Courtyard will be open to guests on most racing days with benches and picnic tables. The new area also will enrich the experience of big-event days throughout the rest of the year, including Downs After Dark night racing and Family Adventure Days.