4 Ways to Attend the 2015 Kentucky Derby on a Budget

Posted by Jaclyn Harris on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 @ 09:02 AM

Attending the Kentucky Derby is expensive. 

This is a common misconception when it comes to planning your trip to Churchill Downs for the first weekend in May. All things considered, it's not strange that people believe attending the Kentucky Derby would be pricey. After all, the Kentucky Derby is a high prestige horse race, it's the first leg of the Triple Crown series and celebrities flock from all around the country to attend.

With that begin said, costs associated with attending the Kentucky Derby can actually be very reasonable... you just have to know how to attend on a budget!

So without further ado, take a look at these four ways to attend the 2015 Kentucky Derby without breaking the bank.

Say 'No' to A La Carte Options!

Churchill Downs Derby Experiences resized 600The biggest mistake you can make when planning to attend the Kentucky Derby is purchasing your tickets and amenities all a la carte. Think about it. On Kentucky Derby day, you'll have to purchase lunch, dinner and snacks, drinks throughout the day, any wagers you'd like to place, any souvenirs you'd like to buy, and either parking or a cab back to your hotel.

Now if you plan to attend both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, that's two days of all those purchases. Plus, you'll have the costs of tickets and accommodations. Do you see the dollar signs adding up? Because I do.

On the contrary, Derby Experiences offers Official Ticket Packages or the 'bundle effect,' as I like to call it. What I mean by this, is you can opt to include anything and everything you could possibly want while in Louisville into one price... ultimately saving you money!

Check out Derby Experiences two most-money conscious Official Ticket Packages to prove my point:

Grandstand Green Packages

With a Grandstand Green Official Ticket Package, you'll receive both a ticket to the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby race days in Sections 121-122 of the Grandstand. This means you'll be seated directly across from the eighth pole granting you unparalleled views as the horses break from the starting gate, the race into the first turn, the rounding of the final turn, and the final stretch to the finish line. The world's largest HD video board is located directly across from you in the infield so even when the horses are on the backstretch, they're not out of view.

This seating location is not covered, but you're literally as close to rail as you can be! The risk of potentially having to wear a poncho if the Louisville skies decide to open up on race day is well worth it for the experience you're going to have!

Grandstand Green Derby Experiences resized 600

In addition to your tickets, you'll receive access to an exclusive in-track hospitality venue. As the race day begins to wear on you and you simply want to sit and relax somewhere, you have that VIP space to escape to. Within hospitality, you'll have access to a cash bar, a complimentary one-time lunch buffet and self-service wagering stations. And since the venue is indoors, there is simulcast TV coverage of the on-track activities so you won't miss a minute of the action.

Finally, you'll receive an Official Derby Experiences Gift Bag brimming with Kentucky Derby products and merchandise, so there's really no need to purchase additional souvenirs (unless you spot something you can't live without!). Also, you'll receive a VIP Fast Access Pass allowing you access to a quicker, more secure entrance to Churchill Downs through Gate 10.

To complete the bundle effect and eliminate further planning, Grandstand Green Packages also offer the option to include luxurious hotel accommodations and transportation to and from the track each day. Easy payment terms are also available so you can make a series of payments instead of paying the whole cost upfront.

See Green Grandstand Pricing & Easy Payment Terms

Grandstand Red Packages

Grandstand Red Official Ticket Packages share a lot of similiarities with Grandstand Green Packages. With seating located in Sections 222-224 of the Grandstand, fans have a slightly elevated view of the track from directly across from the eighth pole. They'll be able to watch first-hand as the horses break from the gate, pound down the straight, fight for a spot on the rail into the first turn, breakaway around the final turn, and race head-to-head to the finish line! 

Grandstand Red Derby Experiences resized 600

Just as the package mentioned prior, Grandstand Red Packages offer access to a VIP hospitality area with the same amenities as above, include the option to add-on accommodations and transportation, and offer easy payment terms.

View Grandstand Red Pricing & Easy Payment Terms

You Can Party it Up and Keep Your Wallet at Ease!

Now, it's no secret a big perk of attending the Kentucky Derby is being in Louisville when some of the most high profile A-list parties are being thrown. Believe it or not, Derby Experiences does offer budget-friendly packages including access to some of the most highly coveted Derby parties!

If you're looking for the benefits of an Official Ticket Package with access included to an official Kentucky Derby party without hurting your wallet, these are the packages for you:

Fillies & Lilies Party Packages

For the second year in a row, Derby Experiences is hosting the Fillies & Lilies Party in the Kentucky Derby Museum adjacent to Churchill Downs immediately following the running of the 141st Kentucky Oaks.

Grandstand Blue Fillies and Lilies Party Derby Experiences resized 600

Country music's sweetheart, Sara Evans will be performing live to an intimate audience. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served, a relaxing bourbon lounge will be present and the open bar will be flowing. You'll be invited to dance the night away with Hollywood's finest while celebrating the upcoming Kentucky Derby.

In addition to an invite the Fillies & Lilies Party, you'll receive an Official Grandstand Blue Ticket Package. Grandstand Blue seating is located in Sections 326-327 of the Grandstand, right at the final turn. A deluxe hospitality area is located directly behind the seating area, offering access to open beer, wine and soft drinks, a complimentary one-time lunch buffet, and much more!

Once again, accommodations and transportation can also be included.

View Grandstand Blue Fillies & Lilies Party  Pricing & Easy Payment Terms

Winner's Party Packages

Last, but certainly not least, are Winner's Party Packages! Now, this option marches to the beat of its own drumb. While the package doesn't include access to a hospitality during Derby weekend, it does include an invite to the coveted Winner's Party held in the Kentucky Derby Museum immediately following the running of the Derby.

During the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, you'll have tickets to the first floor of the Clubhouse in Section 111, located right on the fence at the first turn. You'll have unparalleled views of the break from the gate, the first straight, the breeze into the first turn, the rounding on the backstretch, and the finish line!

Then, once the winner heads to the Winner's Circle, you'll head to the museum to enjoy a premium open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres and dancing. The winning jockey, owner and trainer will be honored at the party, and A-list stars will be buzzing all around you.

An Official Gift Bag and VIP Fast Access Pass are also included, and accommodations and transportation can be added on.

View Winner's Party Package & View Easy Payment Terms

It's Kentucky Derby Time!

Now you know it can be done! So go forth, my Kentucky Derby hopefuls! Secure your spot at the 2015 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, and have the time of your lives in Louisville! 

Have additional questions? Leave me a note in the comments below and I'll get back to you. OR call 1-888-384-7088 to speak to a Derby Experiences representative.

And be sure to join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #DerbyVIP and #KyDerby!

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Topics: Kentucky Derby

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About the Bloggers

Kristen Doolan

Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends. 


Jazzy Morgan

Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England and a die-hard Manchester United Fan. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011 where she attended Winthrop University and received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading her monthly Vogue & Cosmo and keeping up with fashion trends.


Evan Chronis

Evan Chronis was born in Omaha, Nebraska but has made his home in south Charlotte for almost two decades. A Tar Heel born and bred, Evan received his B.A in Media and Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is an avid Boston sports fan thanks to his family’s New England roots, and a fanboy of Wes Anderson films.