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Welcome to our expert guide to Kentucky Derby tickets. We’re going to reveal everything that you need to know about securing tickets to attend this special sporting event. You’ll find out about prices, availability and where to buy them. So if you want to be amongst the huge crowd at the Kentucky Derby, read on.

How Much Do Kentucky Derby Tickets Cost?

kentucky derby tickets

Let’s start with a big question that will be of concern to anyone looking to attend this event. What is the cost of Kentucky Derby tickets? The good news is that there are a wide range of ticket options. They are available at a range of prices to suit all budgets.

If you are looking for the cheapest Kentucky Derby tickets available, standing tickets start at $275. Those who prefer to sit have a variety of choices. This year sees the debut of a new Paddock area, that has created a wide variety of elevated seating options.

Seating choices start at $650 and go up into the thousands for premium packages where every luxury is catered for. There are all-inclusive packages where all your food and drink is covered in the ticket price.

If you want to attend both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, you can also find ticket packages to include both days.

When Do Kentucky Derby Tickets Go on Sale?

You can buy 150th Kentucky Derby tickets for 2024 right now. The event takes place on Saturday, May 4 2024.

Tickets for the 2025 Kentucky Derby will go on sale in the Fall of 2024. You can already put down a deposit with certain companies that offer Kentucky Derby packages that include tickets.

Buying Kentucky Derby Tickets – Where Can I Get Them?

You can buy 2024 Kentucky Derby tickets at the official website of the Churchill Downs track. It’s the best place to purchase tickets, as you can be assured that you are paying the right price. If tickets are still officially available for a certain area, then you will be able to find them on the Kentucky Derby website.

The official Kentucky Derby Ticket Exchange is where people can place their tickets for sale, if they no longer plan to attend the event. This is a good source of tickets, when certain areas are officially sold out. It means that you can often grab a late ticket to the Kentucky Derby, with people unable able to attend, listing their ticket at their last minute. Buy close enough to the race and you may even be able to pick one up at a bargain price.

Other ticketing agencies and resale sites may also have Derby tickets. Yet Kentucky Derby ticket prices can be expensive from such outlets, so make sure that you check to see what the official price should be, so that you can ensure that you’re happy with the value on offer.

Finally, there are companies that sell Kentucky Derby packages. These may include details such as travel to Churchill Downs and hotel accommodation. They will of course, also include a ticket, this might be another option to consider if you’re thinking about attending the Kentucky Derby.

What Other Events During Derby Week Can I Get Tickets for?

There are a wide range of Kentucky Derby events on the schedule that you can buy tickets for during Derby week and with it being the 150th Kentucky Derby, there are special celebrations planned. Here are some of the events that you can get tickets for during Derby week.

  • Opening Night – Take place on Saturday, April 27. Alongside a number of races, it includes the Kentucky Derby post positions draw for the 150th edition of the race and the Kentucky Oaks.
  • Dawn at the Downs – On Sunday, April 28 and Monday, April 29 you can attend Dawn at the Downs, where the Derby and Oaks contenders warm up on the track in the morning. There’s expect commentary and plenty of breakfast options available.
  • 502’s Day – Takes place on Tuesday, April 30. It is an event that is dedicated to recognising the contribution of the local business community in Louisville. There’s a great day of racing to enjoy and general admission tickets are priced at just $5.
  • Champions Day – Wednesday, May 1 is Champions Day. Along with more horse racing action, the spotlight is shone upon the history of Kentucky Derby winners and its Churchill Downs champions.
  • Thurby – On Thursday, May 2 it is Thurby, which celebrates Kentucky’s culture. There’s some big stakes races taking place, live entertainment from Bluegrass acts and lots of opportunities to indulge in some bourbon.
  • Kentucky Oaks – Things step up a notch on Friday, May 3 for the Kentucky Oaks. This $1,250,000 Grade I stakes race for three-year-old fillies is the highlight of an exciting day of top level horse racing.

As mentioned previously, Saturday, May 4 is the Derby itself. For Kentucky Derby tickets 2024 and tickets for other events, head to the official Kentucky Derby website.

Churchill Downs Tickets Admission Policy

There is good news if you are planning to bring your family to the Kentucky Derby. You can bring your children for free in general admission areas. Each paying guest can bring in four children, which is defined as being 12 years of age or younger. For admission to seated areas, children will need a ticket.

You will need to be aware of some things before you attend the event. Check out what the dress policy is for the area to which you have access. General admission areas allow for casual attire, but other areas expect more formal clothing. Details can be found on the Kentucky Derby website.

Another aspect to consider is that you are limited in terms of the items that you can bring into Churchill Downs. Each ticket holder can bring in a bag, but it must be a clear bag that is no larger than twelve inches by six inches.

This list of additional prohibited items is a long one. It currently looks like this for Derby week.

  • Air horns
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Balloons and inflatables
  • Balls
  • Banners and/or signs, unless pre-approved
  • Cameras with detachable lenses, or equipped with a lens that is 6” or larger
  • Canopies
  • Cans (any size or type)
  • Collapsible Chairs
  • Confetti
  • Coolers
  • Chains
  • Drones and remote controlled aircraft
  • Firearms
  • Fireworks
  • Food & Beverage
  • Frisbees
  • Glass Bottles or containers
  • Grills
  • Hoverboards, skateboards and scooters
  • Illegal Substances
  • Knives
  • Laser lights/pointers
  • Luggage
  • Mace
  • Noise Makers
  • Pepper Spray
  • Personal music players without head-phones
  • Pets, except for trained service animals
  • Poles or sticks of any size
  • Portable speakers/sound systems
  • Projectile Items
  • Seat Cushions
  • Selfie Sticks
  • Tents
  • Thermoses
  • Tripods
  • Umbrellas of any size
  • Wagons
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Any items deemed dangerous and/or inappropriate

Ticket holders will be searched when entering, so it is important to not have any of the above list on your person, as you will have to leave your possessions at the gate, in order to be able to go in.

Notable exceptions that you can bring into the venue are strollers, if you have a young child with you and diaper bags, though the latter will be searched.

If you exit Churchill Downs after entry, there is no re-admission, even if you have your ticket on you. So don’t go in unless you are sure that you will be staying until the finish of the Kentucky Derby.

If you’re looking to bet on this year’s race, make sure to check out our roundup of the best Kentucky Derby sportsbooks available offshore.


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