Churchill Downs to invest $200m in Kentucky paddock renovation

CDI will spend $200m to renovate its signature Paddock Area at the Churchill Downs Racetrack to debut at 150th Kentucky Derby.
CDI will spend $200m to renovate its signature Paddock Area at the Churchill Downs Racetrack to debut at 150th Kentucky Derby.

Churchill Downs Inc will transform the paddock area at its flagship racetrack for the 2024 Kentucky Derby.

US.- Churchill Downs Inc (CDI) has announced that it ill invest $200m in a major makeover of its flagship Churchill Downs Racetrack in Kentucky in time for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in May 2024. The so-called Paddock Project is the last part of a three-year capital investment plan to revitalise the racetrack.

CDI aims to offer visitors a better view of the iconic Twin Spires, to “streamline guest circulation paths” and update existing amenities to provide “new, unique, and extraordinary guest experiences”. The new design includes 12,000 square feet of guest space compared to the existing 5,000 square feet, increasing the capacity inside the paddock from 1,000 to 2,400 people.

The redevelopment will add various club spaces that will provide exclusive, intimate, and behind-the-scenes experiences. Premium club seating options will include dining tables, rail boxes, custom Chef’s tables, cocktail service, reserved racetrack viewing areas, and access to private amenities along with paddock views.

The Paddock Project is expected to create 3,612 new premium reserved seats at various price levels along with 3,250 new standing-room-only tickets. The Paddock Project will also update select existing ticket inventory and improve paddock views for front-side guests with the addition of elevated viewing platforms.

Construction on the Paddock Project will begin after the 2022 Churchill Downs Spring Meet (April 30-July 4) and is scheduled to accommodate the racetrack’s live race dates with minimal disruption.

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“This is one of the most significant construction projects in the history of Churchill Downs Racetrack because it significantly impacts what we consider to be the heart of the property,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “We took great care to ensure this is designed in a way that would transform Churchill Downs while enhancing our ability to deliver on what our fans hope for and expect from us for generations to come.” 

The paddock redevelopment investment will follow the $44.5m Homestretch Club project to debut this year during Kentucky Derby Week and the $89.2m Turn 1 Experience that will open for the Kentucky Derby in 2023. 

See also: Churchill Downs signs agreement to acquire Chasers Poker Room

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