Still looking for a ticket to the 150th Kentucky Derby? It won’t come cheap.

If you have not already secured a ticket to the Kentucky Derby on May 4 and are still planning to attend the 150th edition of the Run for the Roses, be ready for a major hit to your pocketbook.

Citing “unprecedented demand” for tickets due to the historic anniversary, Churchill Downs reported this week only limited premium and luxury experience tickets remain available for purchase for Derby Day. Those tickets include access to Club SI, a new luxury dining experience that includes a view of the renovated paddock and paddock runway.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith will serve as a celebrity host in Club SI for the Kentucky Derby. Club SI tickets start at $7,500 per guest.

A limited number of general seating tickets are available through Churchill Downs and Ticketmaster’s verified resale market, but the cheapest reserved seating ticket available as of Tuesday was listed for $1,350. Less than 20 general admission tickets for the infield were available for prices starting at $148.

Churchill Downs still lists several ticket packages that require purchase of a ticket to both the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks on May 3 as available. Those packages include infield general admission ($170), infield final turn general admission ($275) and frontside standing room only ($693).

Even with increased demand for the 150th Kentucky Derby, it does not appear the 2015 attendance record (170,513) is in jeopardy this year. Churchill Downs has limited capacity in the infield since 2020 when it began barring access to the frontside for infield ticket holders, capping the possible attendance around 150,000.

Churchill Downs has reported “unprecedented demand” for tickets for the 150th Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs has reported “unprecedented demand” for tickets for the 150th Kentucky Derby.

Frontside tickets include all-inclusive food and beverage packages.

Attendance topped 150,000 last year for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, but the 2023 attendance (150,335) was still smaller than each of the 15 Derbys from 2005 to 2019.

Fans who do have a frontside ticket for the 150th Derby will have a chance to view the $200 million paddock renovation. The multi-year project was under construction during the 149th Derby in 2023.

As part of the renovation, the paddock, where horses are saddled for races, was more than doubled in size. Fan capacity around the paddock was increased from 1,000 to 2,400.

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