(Edited press release)
The Maryland Jockey Club announced Feb. 5 that it is redefining the infield experience on Preakness Day, May 16 with three rock performances.
Preakness InfieldFEST will feature Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top and Grammy-nominated Buckcherry, along with a pro volleyball tournament and an interactive section prior to the running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
A new infield (including the infield’s Top of the Stretch seating area) policy on alcohol and all beverages will also be implemented for the 134th event, the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown.
“The Preakness Stakes is the biggest single-day sporting event in the state with attendance figures exceeding 100,000 nine of the last 10 years, including eight straight,” said Maryland Jockey Club president and chief operating officer Tom Chuckas. “In 100 days, the best 3-year-old horses will be in Baltimore, and we feel it is time for our public infield customers to enjoy a new way to party.”
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, ZZ Top was formed in Houston in 1969, and the band still features its original three members: guitarist Billy F Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard. The band’s catalog of hits includes such songs as “La Grange,” “Tush,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Legs,” and “Gimme All Your Lovin.”
The Multi-Platinum, Grammy-nominated band Buckcherry is touring in support of their fourth album, “Black Butterfly,” which was named iTunes Rock Album of the Year and has produced three multi-format hits, including “Don’t Go Away” and “Rescue Me.” The band’s first Top 10 single, “Sorry," hit the Hot 100 Billboard chart in 2008. The Los Angeles-based band is currently co-headlining a North American arena tour with Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach, and Saving Abel.
A third band will be added to the lineup at a later date. I.M.P., a Bethesda, Md.-based concert promoter and event production is producing the concert.
The Toyota Pro Beach East Volleyball Tour will kick off its 2009 season on the Pimlico infield with a one-day professional women’s beach volleyball doubles tournament from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some of the best up-and-coming female players from around the country will be showcased with free seating around the court.
In the interactive area of the infield under a large tent will be an authentic NASCAR vehicle tin which participants can sit and drive a virtual test lap around an oval. Virtual reality pods will be linked so guests can play paintball, as well as RockStar Guitar Hero.
Tickets for public infield are $50 in advance and $60 May 16. No beverage of any kind (cans or bottles), including alcohol, soft drinks, and water will be allowed to be brought into the public infield. Sixteen ounce beers will be sold for $3.50.
Coolers and backpacks containing food will be permitted in the infield, but coolers larger than 28"l x 15"w x 17"h will be prohibited. Beach blankets and suntan lotion, cellular phones, cameras (up to 35mm), camcorders, binoculars, and lightweight plastic lawn chairs are also allowed in the infield. Top of the Stretch seats will remain at $110 with coolers limited to 12” x 12” or smaller.