Churchill Downs Night Racing.

Churchill Downs Night Racing.

Reed Palmer

Churchill Downs to Install Permanent Lights

Anticipate lighting in place for 2010 spring meet.

(Edited Churchill Downs Inc. release)

Based on a review of its experimental three night racing cards during the spring meet, Churchill Downs Inc. announced Sept. 28 it will install permanent lights at its flagship racetrack in Louisville.

Churchill Downs held its first-ever night racing events on June 19, June 26 and July 2, 2009. The average attendance each of the three nights was 29,705, with 33,481 in attendance the final evening, bringing the total attendance for the three nights of racing to 89,115.

"We found our racing fans loved the experience and Churchill Downs is trying new ideas to bring different types of fans to our iconic track, home of the Kentucky Derby," said Kevin Flanery, Churchill Downs’ track president. "The company plans to invest in racing’s future despite the troubled economy and reduced handle throughout the industry."

Churchill Downs will be soliciting bids from a range of lighting contractors and anticipates installation to be complete in time for the 2010 spring meet. Flanery indicated Churchill Downs will poll fans and horsemen to assist in determining the optimum mix of day and night racing.