(Edited press release)
For the first time in the history of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Churchill Downs will host a public drawing for Derby fans to purchase two seats to the upcoming 133rd “Run for the Roses,” scheduled for May 5.
Through the public drawing, Churchill Downs will offer a total of 1,000 reserved seats, which will be sold in pairs of two beginning at 8 a.m. EDT April 14. The public drawing will continue until noon or until all 500 pairs of reserved seats have been sold.
Free parking will be available in the preferred lot off Central Ave. near Gate 17. Customers can enter the track through Gate 17 beginning at 5 a.m., and begin lining up inside the Churchill Downs clubhouse for their chance to purchase reserved seats to this year’s Derby. Customers will begin drawing for their seating selections promptly at 8 a.m.
“While thousands of our annual Kentucky Derby guests come from Louisville and the surrounding region, we know there are many Kentucky Derby fans from our hometown and neighboring communities that have yet to personally experience America’s original springtime sports spectacle," said Churchill Downs president Steve Sexton. "This year, we decided to set aside a large block of reserved seats for the general public to purchase through a pre-Derby drawing, to give an even broader audience the chance to enjoy the nation’s premier horse race first hand.”
The format for the drawing will allow fans to reach into a ticket hopper and randomly select a single voucher. The voucher will identify the location of two reserved seats to the 2007 Kentucky Derby, as well as the cost to purchase both seats. Tickets must be purchased immediately by payment of either cash or a Visa credit or debit card. Churchill Downs will not accept personal checks, money orders, or any non-Visa credit or debit cards as payment for reserved seats offered through the public drawing on April 14.
Through the drawing, Churchill Downs is offering pairs of first-floor box seats in Sections 111, 112, 113, 114, and 118, as well as pairs of grandstand bleacher seats in Sections 120, 122, 222, 223, 224, and 225. Each customer to participate in the drawing may purchase two reserved seats. Seats will only be made available in pairs and cannot be purchased individually. Since the seating selections will be drawn randomly, a person’s place in line will have no bearing on the location of the seats he or she is then able to purchase. No Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) seats will be made available through the public drawing.
Ticket prices range from $206 to $360 per pair of seats, depending on the location. Since customers will randomly draw their seating selections, they should bring at least $360 in cash or their Visa credit/debit cards with them to cover the maximum cost possible for the seats they may draw.
In the unlikely event that a customer selects a voucher and decides not to purchase the tickets, he or she can return to the end of the line and wait for a second turn in the drawing. Since the 1,000 tickets are being sold in pairs, it is believed that the first 500 customers in line will purchase the entire allotment.
Customers must be at least 18 years old to purchase seats through the public drawing, must come to Churchill Downs in person the morning of April 14 to participate, and cannot participate in the drawing by submitting cards, letters, e-mail or phone calls to Churchill Downs. The public drawing is not open to Churchill Downs employees.