Horses

WEG ticket sales, buildings up

Holly Bergay and Grand Ballerina at the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships and Selection Trials for 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Wayne, IL, June 28, 2010. Photo by Lindsay McCall/Phelps Media Group
Holly Bergay and Grand Ballerina at the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships and Selection Trials for 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Wayne, IL, June 28, 2010. Photo by Lindsay McCall/Phelps Media Group

With just 30 days left until the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, organizers say that ticket sales are up, along with about 300 temporary structures throughout the Kentucky Horse Park.

"Things are really beginning to take shape," said Jamie Link, chief executive officer of the World Games 2010 Foundation.

Link announced that two events — dressage freestyle and individual reining — have almost sold out. The best seats for the dressage freestyle competition are gone, and the lower tier of the main stadium has fewer than 1,000 tickets remaining. Dressage will be held in the main stadium, which will seat 25,000 people.

In addition, the individual reining finals have fewer than 150 tickets left in the indoor arena, which seats 7,000.

Overall ticket sales are approaching 315,000 for competition events and grounds passes. Link has said his goal is overall sales of 500,000; the original goal was 600,000. A separate ticket must be bought for each competitive event. General admission tickets allow access to the Horse Park and some cross-country competitions.

Some of the more expensive tickets also are selling well. The Championship Club, which allows access to tables of eight set up in the stands of the park's main arena or the driving stadium, have sold out for show-jumping events at prices reaching $49,600 for two days. In addition, luxury boxes that can cost as much as $36,500 for four days in the indoor arena are sold out during some reining events.

Link also addressed the issue of parking. Originally, a shuttle service was going to drop off people at the main gates after they parked at Coldstream Research Park on Newtown Pike. Now, attendees will park at a farm next to the Horse Park and walk into the park.

Link said that walk will be less than eight-tenths of a mile.

"We will be providing shuttles to help people who need assistance," he said. "It's not as far as some people have projected it to be."

First lady Jane Beshear, who is on the foundation board and is an ardent equestrian, said the board had heard concerns about parking, and "we're working on solutions to relieve that concern."

Wednesday's press conference was against a backdrop of pointed white tents, as the facilities for events other than the competitions take shape. The Alltech Experience, put on by the Games' title sponsor, will cover four acres, and the Kentucky Experience is 25,000 square feet of four pavilions that will feature food, products, live music and an introduction to Kentucky's nine tourism regions.

Pearse Lyons, the president of Alltech, said the Games have ensured that "the world is looking at us in a totally different way."

The Games will begin on Sept. 25 and continue through Oct. 10. Fifty-eight countries have nominated horses and riders to compete in eight disciplines. For more information, go to Alltechfeigames.com.

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