How Much Does It Cost To Go To The Kentucky Derby?

Written By Brian Cross on April 27, 2023 - Last Updated on May 26, 2023
Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs

The Run for the Roses nearly upon us: The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place Saturday, May 6.

Horse racing’s most prestigious event is a 1 1/4 mile race for 3-year-old thoroughbreds and the first leg of the Triple Crown.

For Ohio horse bettors, the proximity to Louisville’s Churchill Downs is enticing. Here are the options for Ohioans looking to attend the 2023 Kentucky Derby in person.

Kentucky Derby ticket options

The Kentucky Derby is partnered with Ticketmaster to offer resale tickets.

General admission to the infield (bring a chair or blanket) is $82 until May 5 and $87 day of race.

Reserved seating via Ticketmaster:

  • Infield bleachers start at $680
  • Grandstand seating starts at $700
  • Grandstand boxes start at $1,075

All-inclusive dining and hospitality packages are also available with indoor table seating and start at $1,900.

Flying, driving and parking near Churchill Downs

Southern Ohio residents will want to drive to Louisville. The current AAA mileage rate is 58 cents per mile, meaning the 200-mile round trip from Cincinnati to Louisville would cost just over $100. Gasoline would be around half that, depending on gas mileage.

Flights out of Cleveland are currently around $450 — not a bad option compared to the six-hour drive.

Parking at L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium is $40 for a car or truck; $150 an RV or similar; and $200 for a bus.

As for betting, the Ohio FanDuel Racing app is live in Ohio.

Louisville hotels and short-term rentals during the Kentucky Derby

With the Kentucky Derby just over a week away, it’s getting late to book accommodations. Still, Louisville-area hotels have rooms listed for as low as $300 per night, although staying in the city — especially anywhere near Churchill Downs — will run closer to $1,000 and even upwards of $1,500 per night.

The AirBnB market is similarly picked over. The available apartments, condos and homes listed on the popular short-term rental platform are at least $400, with prices rising from there.

Photo by AP / Jeff Roberson
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Brian Cross

Brian Cross contributes sports betting, casino and lottery coverage to PlayOhio and PlayPennsylvania. Brian studied Professional Writing and Journalism at the University of Cincinnati and has been a contributing writer at Cincinnati’s alt-weekly for over 10 years.

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