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Churchill Downs Completes $32M Renovations Ahead of Derby Day

Wed May 02, 2018 - National Edition
Emily Buenzle


Visitors can look forward to new changes when they come to see the race this weekend.
Visitors can look forward to new changes when they come to see the race this weekend.

Just in time for the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is showing off a few of the $32 million renovations that have been made to its facilities over the past year.

“This is not Churchill Downs as it was just a year ago,” said John Asher, vice president of Racing Communications at Churchill Downs. “It's going to look a heck of a lot different. We've added about 50 acres.”

Visitors can look forward to these new changes when they come to see the race this weekend, WDRB reported:

  • More than 1,800 seats have been added, both in 32 new suites, which hold up to 30 guests, and a third-floor grandstand. Each suite costs $130,000.
  • More than 50 acres of parking has been upgraded, and a new bus depot will take visitors where they need to go.
  • A total of three gates, including the new Paddock Gate and Clubhouse Gate will be open for visitors entering the tracks.

“We have two main guest gates here on the front side, said Jordan. “The newly constructed Paddock Gate and the Clubhouse Gate, formerly known as Gate 10. Those will be available any race day here at Churchill Downs. On Kentucky Derby Day and Kentucky Oaks Day, we will also open the Infield Gate on 4th Street, formally known as Gate Three and that will take people with general admission tickets directly into the infield.”

With Phase 1 complete, Phase 2 of the renovation project is expected to begin Monday, May 7, after the Derby is finished, WDRB reported. The entire project is slated to cost $70 million.