Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced today the transformative Paddock redevelopment project (the “Paddock Project”) that will debut for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in May 2024. The $185 – $200 million redesign is the final phase of a previously-announced three-year capital investment plan for Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill Downs”) that will provide new, unique and extraordinary guest experiences for Kentucky Derby fans.
This project will transform the existing Paddock area in a manner that will enhance the experience for nearly every guest who enters the gates of the historic racetrack. The current Paddock configuration blocks views of the Twin Spires from the entrance gate and restricts circulation from the Clubhouse to the Grandstand. The bold new design will enhance visibility of the iconic Twin Spires, streamline guest circulation paths, update the audio visual experience and create additional value for guests by updating existing ticket products and amenities.
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 equine-focused experiences unparalleled in all of sports and entertainment. 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 unprecedented Paddock views.
In total, the Paddock Project is expected to create 3,612 new premium reserved seats at various price and experience 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.
The Paddock redevelopment investment will follow the $44.5 million Homestretch Club project to debut this year during Kentucky Derby Week and the $89.2 million Turn 1 Experience that will open for the Kentucky Derby in 2023. Construction on the Paddock Project will begin after the 2022 Churchill Downs Spring Meet and is scheduled to accommodate the Racetrack’s live race dates with minimal disruption.
“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.”
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