LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Churchill Downs Racetrack announced Tuesday new parking and traffic protocols for the upcoming Derby Week festivities.
The new plan, which track officials say was created with officials from the Louisville Metro Police Department, is designed to move the massive numbers of people coming into the area.
Officials also say the plan is needed because of the many changes made in the run-up to the 2018 racing season. Festivities begin with Opening Night fun Saturday, April 28.
“Each year, Churchill Downs is proud to welcome more than 150,000 people to the Kentucky Derby. One of the recurring themes we hear in post-event customer surveys is the challenge our guests face when trying to travel to and from the track on our biggest days. We know that our guests get to the track in a variety of ways, and we have gone to great lengths to accommodate everyone’s needs with this new plan,” Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack, said in a statement.
For the latest information, check the Kentucky Derby Parking site.
Among the changes announced Tuesday:
- Parking and arrival options vary depending on the day. More information can be found at the parking website, as well as on the Churchill Downs and Waze mobile apps.
- Onsite parking at Churchill Downs is reserved, April 29 through Derby Day, May 5. Only vehicles with designated hang tags and parking tickets will be able to access the property. This also applies to guests who are being dropped off.
- Central Avenue between Floyd Street and Taylor Boulevard will be restricted to official shuttle buses on May 3 and closed to the public Oaks Day (May 4) and Derby Day (May 5). Pedestrians only will be able to cross Central Avenue at 3rd and 9th streets.
- Ticket-holders with reserved parking permits at the Kentucky Exposition Center will have access to free shuttles to and from the tracks on Oaks and Derby Days. On Thursday only, guests without reserved parking can also park at the KEC for free and ride a complimentary shuttle to the track.
- Parking at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium is still available all week, but shuttles only will be running from the stadium to Churchill Downs on Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Derby Week. On Oaks and Derby Days, guests without reserved parking can park at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, which charges $20, and make the short walk to Churchill Downs.