Changes abound at Churchill Downs - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Changes abound at Churchill Downs

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Crews worked on Friday to change the signage on Churchill Downs' legendary grandstand. Crews worked on Friday to change the signage on Churchill Downs' legendary grandstand.
The sign was changed to reflect 2013's 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. The sign was changed to reflect 2013's 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Darren Rogers Darren Rogers

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It's a sign of the times at Churchill Downs. Workers changed the signage on the historic grandstand and the winner's circle/pagoda Friday to reflect the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Those aren't the only changes taking place at the racetrack. "We raised the paddock pavilion, created 20,000 square feet of open space, which is now known as The Plaza," said Darren Rogers, Senior Director of Communications and Media Services at Churchill Downs, "but everybody's talking about The Mansion and how that's coming along." Rogers said construction is scheduled to conclude by the end of March with detail work continuing until opening day of the spring meet on April 27.

ChurchillDowns.com describes The Mansion as "a spectacular new venue that will meld the legendary past of the historic track with an exciting future to provide a lavish ambience, panoramic views and unprecedented levels of personalized service, elegance and excitement."

According to Rogers, "The Mansion is going to be the most exclusive viewing spot on the racetrack. It's outstanding. (It will accommodate about) 320 guests." Tickets for an Oaks and Derby Day Mansion experience start at $7,000, Rogers said.

"If you take a look at all the changes that we've made – from The Plaza to The Mansion – it touches every different customer experience," Rogers said. "The Plaza is going to create an outstanding flow on Oaks and Derby Day. Whenever you open up 20,000 square feet, that's perfect for the general admission customer."

The 139th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 4. The Kentucky Oaks race, featuring a field of three-year-old fillies, will be run on Friday, May 3.

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