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How to Get Kentucky Derby Tickets

It's called "the greatest 2 minutes in sports," and ticket demand reflects it! Here's what you need to get Kentucky Derby tickets.


  • TIP: If you don't mind paying higher prices, check out internet auction sites for tickets.
  • Step 1: Get to know someone in Louisville high society. The best seats to the Kentucky Derby belong to season ticket holders who have held the seats for years or even generations -- and are not giving them up anytime soon!
  • FACT: 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint are used each year in to make the mint juleps served at the Kentucky Derby.
  • Step 2: Book a package that includes tickets to the Kentucky Derby plus accommodations and other amenities; often this is the easiest way to get Kentucky Derby tickets. Contact the racetrack for information on the company they've authorized to handle these sales.
  • TIP: For general seating with a limited view of the track, get a ticket to The Infield Club.
  • Step 3: Book a reserved seat. The priciest seating is in the Turf Club, which overlooks the finish line; most of the celebrities can be found there. Other options include 2 Millionaires Rows, a Gold Room, the Skye Terrace, three clubhouse sections, three grandstand sections, and the Infield Club's VIP lounge.
  • TIP: Some seats are only available as part of a 2-day package which include the Kentucky Oaks as well as the Derby.
  • Step 4: Get general admission tickets, which give you access to the infield and the paddock area -- where the horses are saddled and paraded prior to the race. You'll have no seat and no view of the racetrack, but you can bring a picnic and watch the action on the TV screens provided. Purchase these tickets in advance online or at the box office on the day of the race.
  • Step 5: Fill out a request for ticket and special events updates on the racetrack's website -- They'll alert you when tickets go on sale for the next Kentucky Derby, which takes place in Louisville every year on the first Saturday in May. Or call 1-800-28DERBY to be put on a list. Tickets usually go on sale in late fall.

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