If you have not registered to take part in Churchill Downs Racetrack’s (“CDRT”) November online sale of seating for the 2014 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Longines Kentucky Oaks, the opportunity to participate in the sale will disappear very soon.
The deadline for the easy online registration to join in next month’s sale of tickets to the 140th runnings of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks is frightfully appropriate: it ends at midnight (Eastern) on Halloween night, Oct. 31. If you do not register, you cannot take part in the sale of seating for the two-day celebration of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 2, and the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3 – a weekend that is one of the ultimate treats in the worlds of sports and entertainment.
The registration process is simple: open your web browser and go to either www.KentuckyDerby.com or www.ChurchillDowns.com. Click on “2014 Ticket Request” on either site, and you will be prompted to enter your email address. That’s all it takes to be eligible to participate in the best and easiest opportunity to purchase seats for the two-day Oaks and Derby celebration.
Registrants will be advised via email in early November on the date and start time of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks online ticket offering. When the online sale opens, registered fans will have a first-come, first-served opportunity to purchase two-day packages of Derby and Oaks seating in locations throughout the track
But fans cannot participate in the November online sale unless they register prior to the looming deadline Oct. 31 deadline.
Churchill Downs has 55,638 reserved seats for both the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. About 19,000 seats at the 2013 Derby and Oaks were purchased through the online sale conducted by Churchill Downs’ online box office.
Seating that will be available for purchase in the November online sale includes box seats and individual seats in the first, second, and third floors of the Clubhouse and Grandstand. Dining seats will be offered on the Plaza Balcony, which was available for the first time in 2013, along with full hospitality packages in Section 110, the first-turn venue introduced in 2013 that features flip-up, stadium-style seats and includes food and beverage in its ticket price. Stadium-style and bleacher seats in the new Grandstand Terrace, which will be introduced in 2014, also will be offered.
“Our annual online sale of seating to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks grows in popularity each year and is a terrific way for all Kentucky Derby fans to purchase seats for these great entertainment and sports celebrations at Churchill Downs,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Each year, the number of requests for reserved seating vastly exceeds our available inventory. While there’s no guarantee that all patrons will be able to purchase seating, the online sale approach offers a level playing field for all who register for this ‘first-come, first-served’ opportunity to purchase Derby and Oaks tickets.
“We hear each year from fans who had believed they would never be able to purchase Derby and Oaks tickets but were able to do so through this online sale. Registration is easy, and after that task is accomplished we urge all registrants to watch their email very carefully for specific information on the date and starting time of this year’s online sale of Derby and Oaks seating.”
As part of the online sale, Churchill Downs carefully reviews each purchase in an effort to ensure that buyers are not connected to ticket brokers and other participants in the secondary ticket market. There is a limit of six tickets per household. Churchill Downs refunded more than $1 million in purchases after the 2013 online sale from buyers that were determined to have violated the track’s ticketing policy in order to make them available for higher prices by ticket brokers and other outlets on the secondary ticket market.
The first online sale of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks seating was conducted in 2010. It replaced an annual on-track ticket lottery during which many fans spent the night before the sale on the track’s grounds with the hope of being able to purchase tickets when the lottery sale began the following morning. About 2,000 seats were sold each year through that manual ticketing process.