Planning a trip to the Kentucky Derby

Never been? Don't worry, we share everything you'll need to know

For your first trip to the Kentucky Derby there are a few things to keep in mind that will help you decide on seat locations, hotel accommodations and transportation.


The seating at the track offers bleacher seats, stadium style fold down chairs, box seats with metal folding chairs and dining room table seating.

The bleachers are a metal bench that offer no back support and can be found in sections 121-128 and 221-225. You can get seats under cover which will keep you out of the rain and sun in 221-225 in Rows K, L, M and N.

The stadium style seats are found in sections 226-228 and 326-328. These are plastic fold down seat with back support. These were installed in 2014 and are the newest seating sections at the track. Under cover seating can be found in 226-228 in Rows L and higher.

Sections 326-328 offer no under cover seating but they do offer a free buffet and all your can drink soft drinks, beer and wine throughout the day.

The box seats at the track offer a metal folding chair usually found in boxes of 6. There are some 8 seat boxes found in sections 315-317 in rows D and Up. The box seats are located in sections 111-117 in the First Floor Clubhouse, sections 312-321 the Third Floor Clubhouse and 322-325 the Third Floor Grandstands.

Under Cover Seating is found in the First Floor Clubhouse in section 113 in rows J and Higher and 114-117 in rows G and Higher. There is no under cover seating in sections 111 and 112.

Under Cover Seating is found in the Third Floor Clubhouse 312-321 and the Third Floor Grandstand 322-325 in rows D and Higher.

The dining room seating options are found in the Turf Club, Millionaires Row, Skye Terrace, Trophy Room, Gold Room, Silks Room and Matt Winn Room. They can be found in 4, 6 and 8 top tables. The Turf Club and Trophy Room include a buffet and drinks (including alcohol) the other areas will only include a buffet. All of these locations are inside and offer a climate controlled setting and are considered the most upscale areas of the track.

Interior Premium is the only indoor climate controlled box seating area at the track. They are 8 seat boxes that include wait service and have the tv monitors in the box.

Hotel Accommodations:

Most hotels in downtown will require a 3 night minimum that includes Thursday, Friday and Saturday night checkout on Sunday. Downtown Louisville is the spot to be for Derby weekend as 4th Street Live is within walking distance of most hotels and offers free concerts, tons of restaurants and bars and really is the place to be if staying downtown. Downtown to the track is about 5 miles away. If the downtown hotels are a little too pricy for you look at staying north into Indiana in Clarksville, Sellersburg or Seymour. 


If you will be driving in to Louisville and need a place to park we offer parking passes along Burton Ave and Bohannon Ave. which put you right across the street from the front gate and is about as close as you can get to the track without actually being on the property. We also sell valet parking passes that you enter from Longfield Ave. If you are looking for a cheaper options you can always park at Papa Johns Stadium and walk to the track which will cost around $35 and t is about a ½ mile away or park at the Kentucky Expo Center about 2 miles away and take their shuttle to the track which costs about $20 per person.

Now that you've got everything you need to know, let's start planning your trip to Churchill Downs. 

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