Churchill plans football tie-ins for new September meet - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Churchill plans football tie-ins for new September meet

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Fall will always mean football in Kentuckiana. This fall, Churchill joins the fray with its first all-September meet in more than 100 years. Fall will always mean football in Kentuckiana. This fall, Churchill joins the fray with its first all-September meet in more than 100 years.
Darren Rogers Darren Rogers

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With back to school and all the activities surrounding it, this is a busy time of year for a lot of families. Horse racing fans can add one more event to the calendar.  Churchill Downs is a week and a half away from kicking off its first all-September meet in more than a century.

Where will you be September 14? If you're among the lucky ticket holders, you'll be in Commonwealth Stadium, watching the Governor's Cup -- UK versus UofL -- in person.

Most of the rest of us will be watching on television. Churchill Downs hopes you'll be tailgating at the track.

"We'll have a giant video board with the game, both video and audio," said Darren Rogers, Senior Director of Communication at Churchill Downs. "There will be plenty of tailgating type atmosphere."

Fall will always mean football in Kentuckiana. This fall, Churchill joins the fray with its first all-September meet in more than 100 years.

"Cutting through the clutter during football season is going to be a challenge for us," Rogers admitted, "but if you can't beat them, join them."

So while you'll see horses racing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September, the rest of the track will often play off the gridiron starting with the September meet's opening night. September 7 is college rivalry night.

"When you walk through the attendance gates, you'll be asked a question -- which team do you support?' said Rogers. "The school with the most votes will be rewarded $5,000 in scholarship for their students.

If it seems like a stretch, Churchill said it's a needed one. With the fading of Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky, horsemen needed a reason to stay in the state.

Rogers said now they have one.

"It's Churchill in September, Keeneland in October and back at Churchill Downs in the month of November," he said.

He says there are lots of new faces in the barns at the Churchill backside so among horsemen, the new meet is a success. Whether September horse racing picks up speed with the fans is something we'll find out starting next month.

Churchill Downs has worked hard to tie-in with its neighbors down the street, UofL and Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. However, September 21 could be a test.  The Cards play FIU at noon.  Racing is supposed to start at 11:30 a.m.  Rogers said they are still considering what to do and moving the first post time back is a possibility.

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