The Kentucky Derby will not be the same for most media members in 2013 with Churchill Downs unveiling plans of the “Mansion” this morning. The $9 million dollar expansion will move the media center, which is currently located on the top floor of Churchill Downs, to the first floor offices.
The current Media Center will be transformed into a new area featuring seating, a fully catered dining area and butler services.
As an unofficial “media member” during the live racing at Churchill Downs I think this is a fantastic move in more ways than one. During regular live racing days at Churchill I would always sit in the 3rd Floor Grandstand to have better access to the track and paddock. In that aspect little will change from what I will be doing to cover the races. There will be several boxes set aside on the 3rd floor for media members to view the races, along with several television monitors in close proximity.
Although I’ve never experienced butler service, or plan on experiencing it ever in my life, these new additions to one of the best sporting venues in the world will be one of a kind. Even though I will miss the breathtaking view on Kentucky Derby day from the Media Center, I will certainly enjoy being closer to the track, horses, and the fans. The new location of the Media Center will bring everyone closer together to have access to the best coverage for the sport we love. The Mansion will offer something that has never been experienced at any other sports venue in the entire world. It will offer features such as a library, parlor, veranda and private dining rooms. The full expansion will be completed by the fall meet at Churchill Downs, starting October 28th.