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Kentucky Derby
Louisville, KY . 4 days, May 1-4, 2019

Understanding Kentucky Derby Ticket Options

The Infield is a fun, raucous area, with plenty of options for drinking, eating and betting on the races. It’s a lot like Mardi Gras. There are, however, a couple of downsides that you should know:

  1. There are no actual seats, meaning you either stand the entire day or sit on the ground and
  2. There is not really a view of the track, meaning you watch the races on TV screens. If you are going with friends looking to roam, the Infield can be a very fun party. However, if you are bringing a significant other and looking for a more refined experience, then you want to look at upgrade options.

kentucky derby clubhouse view

Primary Reserved Seating Options

Churchill Downs is divided into three primary types of reserved seats:

GrandStand Seats:   These are bleachers and are located well before the finish line.   They are the least expensive option for a reserved seat

ClubHouse Seats:  These are chairback seats.  This is where you are most likely to spot women wearing big hats and men in a sport coat.  Usually sold in groups of 6 or 8.

Inside Table Seating:  These Club & Table sections are typically behind glass, and are the most expensive options.   This is the most “refined” experience.  Usually tables of 8.

Another thing to understand about Churchill Downs is that the higher up you go, the more valuable the ticket, since you can see more of the track. From wherever your seat is located, you can always visit everything beneath you, but the reverse is not true. For example, with a 3rd floor Clubhouse seat you are free to roam around the first floor Clubhouse, but not vice versa.  You can never visit upwards from where you are ticketed.

Upgraded Kentucky Derby Seating

Here are some upgrade prices for various options around Churchill Downs.

First floor Grandstand (section 121-128) $350 ea

Second floor Grandstand (sections 228-222) $475 ea

First floor Clubhouse (section 112 or better) $900 ea

Second/3rd floor Clubhouse after finish line (sections 212, 312,312) $1300 ea

Mid level 2nd 3rd floor Clubhouse (sections 314-315, 218-220) $1650 ea

Tier 2 3rd Floor Clubhouse (sections 319-321) $1700 ea

Tier 1 3rd Floor Clubhouse (section 316-318) $2100 ea (In my opinion, this is the best place to watch the races)

Premium first floor Clubhouse (section 116-120) $1400 pp

kentucky derby

High End Kentucky Derby Seating

Typically sold as tables of 8, although price is per seat

Millionaires Row $3500 ea

Sky Terrace $2800 ea

Gold Room (four tops) $2200 ea

Turf Club (boxes or tables) $3350 ea (Celebrity gathering area)

Turf Club lettered row table $5500 ea

kentucky derby horses racing

Ultra High End Seating

Guaranteed in pairs only, no more than 6 seats sold in either category

Turf Terrace $13500 pp.
Only one 6 top table a year guaranteed. First person to pull the trigger gets it, so if you have interest, you’d need to jump on this quick. It will 100% be gone before Christmas. This is table seating in the celebrity area, with an outdoor view of the track. My personal favorite spot to be.

The Mansion  $16,500 pp.  (Super secret, over the top experience with your own private concierge. Access to everything in the building. You’ll likely be sitting next to Michael Jordan.)