After the third jewel of the Triple Crown has been run, the attention of horsemen and fans will be turned toward the Oct. 24-25 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park and how to acquire tickets for the two-day event.
Some of those who have already filled out ticket applications have been alarmed at the seemingly inflated prices of grandstand and VIP tickets compared to previous years, but Pam Blatz-Murff, senior vice president for Breeders’ Cup operations, said the cost is relative when taking certain factors into account.
First of all, the races on the all-female Friday card will now be worth $8 million, more than doubling last year’s purses on that day. The two-day event will conclude with nine Breeders' Cup races on Oct. 25, seven of which will be open to males and females.
“It is a two-day event, and reserve seats are being sold as a two-day package, so if you say the fact they’re buying the second day is the reason (ticket prices) have gone up, then yes, because they’re buying a second day—they’re more expensive than one day,” said Blatz-Murff.
The Friday card will consist of the Ladies' Classic, the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and the new Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
General reserved tickets range from $200 to $600 for the two-day event this year, with the most expensive seats being elevated, covered, and located with a visual line of the sixteenth pole.
VIP seats range from $800 to $1,250 for both days. The $1,000 tickets include lunch, and the $1,200-$1,250 tickets include lunch and beverages.
“It’s now $625 a day, and it includes food and beverage, so no, it didn’t go up over what it was; and the fact that (the tickets) are on the finish line (at Santa Anita) is a factor,” she added.
Blatz-Murff said there is a limited number (around 20,000) reserved seats at Santa Anita, which is why people are required to purchase seats as a package for both days.
“There is no discount for the Friday, because Friday is just as an important of a day of racing as Saturday,” said Blatz-Murff. “We have some of our best racing on Friday, so it would not be appropriate to lessen the experience to the fan from a hospitality point of view.”
At Monmouth Park in 2007, which marked the first time the Breeders’ Cup races were held on two days, there were three $1 million races run on Friday, compared to six major stakes this year at Santa Anita.
Because of the reduced number of Breeders’ Cup races on Friday last year, tickets were sold individually for each day, and the Friday tickets were priced at a third of the cost of the Saturday tickets.
Due to all the temporary seating at Monmouth Park last year, there were nearly 45,000 reserved seats available, versus at Santa Anita, which is a much bigger facility and can handle 80,000 people, but has only 20,000 reserved seats.
“So it’s half the number of reserved seating, but there is a huge amount of Santa Anita that is for general admission, and because of the park-like grounds, there is seating all around the facility at benches, tables, the whole first floor of the grandstand, the clubhouse, and the tarmac,” said Blatz Murff.
The only temporary facilities Santa Anita is adding are the same 1,000 track side boxes it used when the track hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 1986, 1993, and 2003.
Blatz-Murff said she is expecting a crowd in the 60,000 range for Saturday and in the 30,000 to 40,000 range for Friday this year, but the difference in the numbers will most likely be in the general admission area, and not in the reserved seat area.
Blatz-Murff went on to say that because there are now 14 Breeders’ Cup races, the premium sections will largely be reserved for the connections of the horses running. “We do need to take care of the individuals that are putting the show on,” she explained.
General admission for this year’s Breeders’ Cup is $20 a day, or $15 a day for members of Santa Anita’s Thoroughbred club of repeat customers.
“There have been a lot of people that have said (tickets) have gone up tremendously (this year), but they really haven’t when you consider the locations of everything. There really isn’t the disparity that everyone thinks (in this year’s prices) other than that (the Breeders’ Cup) is two days now. Most of the individuals we’ve spoken to want to be there two days anyway.”
Breeders' Cup 2008 Ticket Information
Ticket applications may be obtained by printing the ticket application at www.breederscup.com and mailing it to:
Breeders' Cup Tickets
P.O. Box 60014
Arcadia, CA 91066
Applications must be received at Santa Anita by June 9. After the June 9 deadline, a random draw will determine the order in which applications will be processed. Applications received after the deadline will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis, dependent on availability.
General and Clubhouse Admission
These tickets will be sold at the admission gates Oct. 24 and 25. Limited unreserved seating is available throughout Santa Anita Park.
General Admission: $20 per day (permits access to the grandstand main floor, the apron, paddock gardens and infield)
Clubhouse Admission: $50 per day (permits access to the Club House main floor and all general admission areas)
The Breeders' Cup souvenir admission ticket can only be purchased prior to the event. The souvenir ticket can be purchased using the ticket application, or by calling the ticket office at (626) 254-1300
General parking is $10 per day and can be pre-purchased using the ticket application or on event days.