Although infield revelers are not permitted to bring personal coolers to the infield for this weekend’s celebrations of the 139th runnings of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) will offer an affordable alternative to those fans once they’ve entered the infield admission gates.
Churchill Downs will offer infield patrons a 12” x 17” x 12” styrofoam cooler and a 7 lb. bag of ice for $5 at two convenient infield locations. The cooler and bag of will be sold as a combo, but additional bags of ice will be available for purchase for $2 throughout Oaks and Derby Days.
The coolers and ice will be available for purchase at two infield pavilions located near the tunnel that leads from the infield to admission Gate 1 and general admission areas of the clubhouse and grandstand. The pavilions are easy to spot from all infield locations and the centrally-located purchase points should be easy for all infield patrons to find.
When Churchill Downs announced enhanced security measures for the Derby and Oaks that included the cooler ban following the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, the track pledged to provide a temporary option for infield fans at a price comparable to those offered by retailers located outside of the track’s admission gates.
Additional security procedures announced by Churchill Downs after the Boston tragedy reinstated a ban on coolers originally put in place in 2002, but that policy was relaxed in 2009. The cooler ban was originally imposed as part of a roster of security procedures and policies adopted in 2002 in the aftermath the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
While the security policies adopted in 2002 remain mostly intact, additions to the list after the Boston Marathon attack include a limit on the size of purses, which can be no larger than 12” in any dimension, and a ban on camcorders and cameras with detachable lenses. Small cameras equipped with lenses no longer than six inches are permitted for carry-in, as are smartphones and tablets.
A new ban on pop-up and personal non-vendor tents in the infield was announced earlier in the spring, but that decision was prompted by weather and safety concerns rather than security issues.
Admission gates will open on both Kentucky Oaks Day on Friday, May 3, and Kentucky Derby Day on Saturday, May 4. Post time for the first race on both days is set for 10:30 a.m.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013 and its 2013 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 27-June 30. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.ChurchillDowns.com.
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