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Old 12-03-2009, 08:01 AM
 
8 posts, read 17,198 times
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Hi, I moved to Louisville from Boston recently to start a phd in sports administration at UoL. One of the few chances I have to get my friends to come out to visit me is the Derby.

I looked around on the web for advice but couldn't find much. I'd love some advice on the best way to enjoy the derby and the week that precedes it without things getting to costly for myself. All I can see on sale right now is general admission tickets for the infield, is it even possible for general public to get ticketed seats without having to pay huge scalper markup at this point? If so when do these tickets go on sale?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:32 PM
 
6,972 posts, read 15,095,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ascohen11180 View Post
Hi, I moved to Louisville from Boston recently to start a phd in sports administration at UoL. One of the few chances I have to get my friends to come out to visit me is the Derby.

I looked around on the web for advice but couldn't find much. I'd love some advice on the best way to enjoy the derby and the week that precedes it without things getting to costly for myself. All I can see on sale right now is general admission tickets for the infield, is it even possible for general public to get ticketed seats without having to pay huge scalper markup at this point? If so when do these tickets go on sale?

Thanks in advance.
Some others will chime in I am sure, but if you type into the forum search here derby and my name, you should find a few threads.
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: City - Prefer the country. People shouldn't have to live where they can't see the stars.
98 posts, read 261,755 times
Reputation: 147
Hiya, and welcome to Louisville!
Quote:
is it even possible for general public to get ticketed seats without having to pay huge scalper markup at this point?
Well, I'm sorry, but honestly...no...

Truth is, lots of Derby boxes stay in the same family for years. (My Grandfather leased one of his big tractors to the track in the 40's to pull the gate. Because of that, we had a 3rd floor grandstand box that stayed in the family until my Grandmother's death in 1998.) Shoot, when I divorced, my ex and I fought over who got the backside Derby passes...

The track sells (sends an invitation to purchase...) a few, mostly crappy boxes every year. But they go to folks that have been on the waiting list for several years. If you write the office now, you might get lucky around 2015/2018. So if you're looking for 'ticketed seats', they'll have to come from a reseller, and it will cost ya in the neighborhood of $200/$300 each seat at the very least (most boxes have 6 seats). You might try watching the Courier classifieds. There's usually a few boxes listed for sale from individuals around Derby, but they won't be cheap either. If a person gets caught reselling a box, they lose it. A few years ago, some '.coms' bought boxes from the track somehow, and now they are reselling. That's all pretty new to me, and I'm not sure how that's working. I just know they are asking thousands of dollars for a Grandstand box...

If you decide on the infield, know that parking is a zoo, wear comfortable shoes, and understand that you will most likely not see the race. You will be among folks that came to party. And oh yeah, and don't wear a derby hat...

But since you're a 'local' now, here's some stuff you really should know. Most locals do the Oaks more so than the Derby. We don't really drink Mint Juleps so much (it is a desecration of good Bourbon) despite the fact that most of us have Derby Glass collections. And you should probably learn a little something about handicapping, out-of-towners are usually impressed.

Past that, Derby really begins with an incredible fireworks show on the the Ohio waterfront in April. Kentucky Derby Festival - Thunder Over Louisville (http://kdf.org/events-Thunder-Over-Louisville.html - broken link) It soooo rocks, on multiple levels. As a local you really should see it. Getting out of Louisville usually takes a couple of hours, but it's worth it.

But for your guests, you might want to plan a tour of the Churchill 'backside' and maybe have breakfast at the track kitchen (and Good Lord willing, to the Museum as well). That way they get to see the real stuff. If you really want to throw down some cash, take them to Jack Ruby's where the celebs eat, or to Blu at the Marriott where lots of celebs stayed last year.

Honestly, I have done the Derby just about everyway it can be enjoyed. Press box, Clubhouse, Grandstand, infield and backside. I don't know how old you are, or how much large crowds affect you, but trying to take a housefull of guests is going to cost a bundle. IMHO, I would watch the race on TV, and join in the party afterwards.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
666 posts, read 2,376,196 times
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If I were you and I had a lot of friends coming down, I would just have my own Derby party. Much cheaper and probably more fun than trying to park and fight the crowds. This site has some good ideas...Planning a Kentucky Derby Party When I have people in from out of town around Derby time, I would much rather take them to Thunder Over Louisville 2 weeks before Derby. The airshow and fireworks will blow you away. It is also one of the best places to people watch, you get to see Kentucky at its best lol. As DerbyCityDiva said, Oaks is the local's day at the track and is much more laid back than Derby. Since this is your first Derby, you have to at least try a mint julep. The first one is always the worst, then they start tasting better and better .
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:11 AM
 
Location: SW Indiana
205 posts, read 551,983 times
Reputation: 226
Default too much info, but..

Let me mention one thing, only because by some coincidence, I was talking about today. I am, to be honest, not a handsome fellow. Okay, I'm a dog. Once...once in my life has a stranger pinched my butt. That was in the infield of the Derby in 1976. She smiled at me and ran away. I was carrying a tuba so I couldn't chase her. Maybe she was just a tuba groupie, although I've neer run into any others

My vote is for the infield.

If you're young enough not to be shocked at what you see, you'll have a memorable experience. Not for kids. though.

Of course if you live close to the Downs, charge people 25 dollars to park on your lawn, draft your guests into working for you, and give them a fair percentage.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:05 AM
 
93 posts, read 265,986 times
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Yeah, first let go of expecting the nice classy Kentucky Derby experience. That's not gonna happen. Instead, expect to expect the exact opposite, and enjoy every second of it.

Here are some tips:

Do's:

-Go to the infield.
-Get there early enough to claim your own 10 by 10 plot of land and put down your blankets. (10 - 11 AM)
-Try to sneak in alcohol. It's part of Kentucky Derby tradition. If they find your alcohol, they throw it away. If they don't, you walk down a tunnel and you celebrate hysterically. In addition, drinks will be expensive.
-Talk to as many people as possible. Something about Kentucky Derby makes everyone believe they are the socialite of the decade.
-Try at least 1 mint julip. If you don't like it, give it away.
-Park at Cardinal Stadium
-Wear something comfortable. You are going to do some major walking, and possibly while intoxicated.
-Make some bets and be prepared to lose them.

Don't:

-Drink too much early. Unless you want to be 'that' person, don't do it. 'That' person is a mainstay at the Derby. 'That' person gets incredibly drunk early, and by 4 pm, that person is informal mascot of the Kentucky Derby. That victim personified by such people as Hunter S. Thompson in his infamous account of the Kentucky Derby, and every year, with out fail, the poor chap (or chapess) will be drunk enough to pi$$ all over themselves. All the while they are in a state of shock at the sheer immorality taking place around them. It is at this point when the poor chap (or chapess) becomes part of the circus sideshow that is the Kentucky Derby.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:23 AM
 
Location: City - Prefer the country. People shouldn't have to live where they can't see the stars.
98 posts, read 261,755 times
Reputation: 147
ascohen11180,
Everything erickp & ThePoint502 just said, so true, so true...
Point mentioned sneaking in the alcohol OMG! yes. People do some crazy stuff. I have a girlfriend that doesn't have very large, errrr....she's mammarially-challenged. But she found this bra on the internet, and if they go to the infield, her cup size triples...it's hysterical.

Not sure what you've decided, but I wanted to make sure you saw this.
Box Office Promotions | Churchill Downs Ticket Box Office | Kentucky Derby 136 Tickets | Kentucky Oaks Tickets 2010

Merry Christmas y'all!
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:01 AM
 
8 posts, read 17,198 times
Reputation: 11
I meant to reply earlier but thank you everyone for the responses. Great advice here!
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
5,824 posts, read 8,105,092 times
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Dont try and sneak in beer though, you wouldn't be able to sneak enough in to make it worth the effort. We always snuck in pure grain. bring some gallon jugs of kool-aid to mix it with. We would take it all inside of a cooler, then empty it and mix everything in the cooler itself. You will see plenty of those.

The infield is an experience all by itself!
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
1,448 posts, read 4,529,842 times
Reputation: 890
3,000 Derby tickets to go on sale to the general public on line today at noon.

Churchill Downs set to try online Derby/Oaks ticket sale again | WHAS11 Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana News | Sports (http://www.whas11.com/sports/Churchill-Downs-set-to-try-online-DerbyOaks-ticket-sale-again-80754582.html - broken link)

Good luck!
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