2021 Derby Tickets
The Kentucky Derby is now back at its normal date on the first Saturday in May. The 2021 Derby is being run on Saturday, May 1st. Fans did not get an opportunity to attend the Derby in 2020, so there is extra demand this year from fans who want to #BeThereLive at the "Greatest 2 Minutes in Sports". Derby Weekend in Louisville always kickoffs on Thursday for The Thurby and will continue on Friday, April 30th for the Kentucky Oaks.
The Kentucky Derby is one of the most popular sporting events in the United States. Sports fans from around the country flock to Churchill Downs to witness the Derby in-person. The Derby is about much more than horse racing, it is a major social event where fans drink, gamble and mingle with celebrities in an all-day event. The Derby is a "bucket list" event.
One of the popular elements of the Kentucky Derby is it offers some of the most affordable starting price of all major sporting events. General Admission seats, that provide access to the paddock but not a track view, generally sells for under $100. Reserved seats are a bit more, but will have either a track view from your seats or the ability to view the race in designated aisles.
At Churchill Downs, the higher the level, the more exclusive the seating since seats at a high elevation have views of both sides of the track. Close proximity to the finish line is another big driver of value. Many tickets also come with hospitality amenities as well, which are described in the seat notes. The vast majority of the seating we sell is in the Grandstand and Clubhouse sections on the First, Second, and Third Floor. We also sell Millionaire’s Row Tables, Turf Club, Skye Terrace, Jockey Club Suites, Trophy Rooms, Interior Premium Boxes and we can even get you into the Mansion the most exclusive area at the track.
If you plan on meeting friends or surveying the spectacle remember grandstand seats do not have access to any level of the Clubhouse, but Clubhouse seat holders can visit the grandstands. Within the Clubhouse and Grandstands you can go down to lower floor, but you cannot go to a floor higher than you are ticketed. Everything above the third floor has access to the grandstand and clubhouse areas, but the various rooms may require a ticket specific to the area. Our venue tab, on this Derby page, gives a detailed breakdown of the seating options at Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky Oaks is held the day before the Derby. It is the second most attended Horse Race in the World, drawing upwards of 120,000 some years. The Oaks is popular with the Louisville area horse racing fans and most Derby attendees also attend the Oaks. The Kentucky Oaks fanfare is right up there with Derby with a slightly smaller crowd. Prices are typically 20%-25% of Derby prices.
The Thursday prior to the Derby is known as the Kentucky Thurby. The Thurby is a full day of racing action that is preferred by many locals who want to experience Churchill Downs before the bigger crowds arrive for the Oaks and Derby. The Thurby is definitely the best deal of the week with many tickets generally available for under $100 per seat.
The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the three race Triple Crown. The Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Park in Maryland and The Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in New York are the other two.
Derby Festival Events
There are many popular events around the Derby in Louisville. Among the most popular is the Barnstable Brown Party, a black tie affair held the night before the Derby. The Fillies and Lilies Party at the Kentucky Derby Musuem is another popular option.
Kentucky Derby Packages
Fans who are looking for the ultimate Kentucky Derby experience can request a customized Derby Package, which includes Tickets, Hotel + More.