New Seats to be added at Arlington for Breeders' Cup

Some 35,000 temporary seats will be added to Arlington International Racecourse for the 19th running of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

"Interest in this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships has been so overwhelming, we have already received thousands of inquiries or tickets," Arlington Park President Steve Sexton said.

Applications for the Oct. 26 event were made available Tuesday.

The 35,000 temporary seats will be constructed around the existing grandstand facility and double the track's seating capacity. All outdoor open-air seating will have access to heated pavilions, complete with mutuel windows, television monitors, food and beverage concession, merchandise stands and restroom facilities.

The Breeders' Cup consists of eight races with purses and awards totaling $13 million and will be conducted as part of Arlington's 107-day meet, which ends Oct. 27.

Applications for tickets are due June 16 and tickets will be delivered by the end of September. If more applications than available seats are received, a lottery will be held.

Arlington Park originally opened in 1927 and played host to the first $1-million horse race in 1981, the Arlington Million -- then the richest.The facility burned to the ground in 1985 It was rebuilt by owner Dick Duchoissois and re-opened in 1989. The track merged with Churchill Downs Inc. in 2000.

The Oct. 26 event will mark the first time the Breeders' Cup has been held in the Midwest. During its 18-year history, the Breeders' Cup has been held at Aqueduct Racetrack and Belmont Park in New York, Churchill Downs in Kentucky, Hollywood Park and Santa Anita Park in California, Gulfstream Park in Florida and Woodbin Racetrack in Toronto.