Churchill Downs in Louisville announced Thursday a $37 million expansion that will add 36 luxury suites, event space and a total of 1,800 more seats beside the existing Jockey Club Suites.
The seven-story Starting Gate Suites will be at the top of the homestretch and are expected to be completed for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, according to a news release. Work will begin in January, will halt for the 2017 spring meet that begins April 29, and will resume afterward.
The new space will add interior dining areas and 110 third-floor grandstand seats as well as three floors of individual suites, dining and event space. The planned suites, which will accommodate as many as 1,140 people, each will have indoor lounge seating with a bar and private tiered balcony that overlooks the start of the Kentucky Derby, according to the news release.
“The Starting Gate Suites project is our next step in the company’s ongoing efforts to improve and enhance the facilities and the customer experience at Churchill Downs,” said Kevin Flanery, Churchill Downs racetrack president. “The demand for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks tickets remains extraordinary, with the number of reserved seating requests vastly exceeding our available inventory on an annual basis. This sweeping new addition will be a terrific benefit to our facility on many levels.”