Churchill Downs releases parking procedures for Mother's Day, remainder of Spring Meet

Churchill Downs releases parking procedures for Mother's Day, remainder of Spring Meet
Temporary gates in the Churchill Downs parking lot. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Parking procedures for Mother's Day and the remainder of the Spring Meet at Churchill Downs were announced on Friday.

According to Churchill Downs, the $32 million investment in parking will help make arrivals and exits safer and more convenient for guests.

Ongoing construction created slight differences between the Mother's Day parking plan and the remainder of the meet.

"They finally made some sense of the parking lot. So, it's got thumbs up from me," horse racing fan Vicki Kramerer said.

Onsite parking that's also on the minds of those living nearby trying to sell spots in their yards.

"It's free parking versus five dollars," Hunt said. "So, we might lose today, but we're already prepared for that."

Hunt still made an effort and held a sign on Central Avenue advertising parking spots in hopes of attracting customers.

"We park cars, try to make ends meet," Hunt said

Using his finger to point to a prime piece of real estate, he said will become a little more valuable to him this Sunday.

"There's something about Mother's Day," Hunt said. "It's a mini Derby. They wont have anywhere to park on Mother's Day. They'll run out of room. I promise you."

Churchill Downs released the following information to help visitors:

Admission Gates:

  • Guests may enter through the Paddock Gate or VIP Gate any day of the 2018 Spring Meet.
  • The Clubhouse Gate is open through Mother’s Day but will be closed to guests beginning May 14 as part of the ongoing construction.
  • Admission Gates on Mother’s Day (May 13) will open at 11:30 AM.
  • Visit for information on gate times for the remainder of the Spring Meet.

Reserved Parking:

  • Guests with reserved parking permits will park in the White Lot which is accessed from Central Ave.  This area is reserved for Horsemen, Turf Club members, Suite holders and others with reserved parking permits.
  • The Red Lot is reserved on live race days for guests with Red Lot parking permits.
  • Permits must be displayed from the rearview mirror to gain access to parking area.

Free Parking:

  • Free parking will be available to guests in the Green, Orange and Black lots for the entire race meet.
  • Free parking will also be available in the Yellow and Turquoise Lots through Mother’s Day.
  • Charter Bus and oversized vehicle parking is available in the Pink Lot.
  • Parking lots may be accessed from Central Ave., Longfield Ave. or Taylor Blvd.
  • Neighborhood parking is also available.
  • On select premium days, offsite parking and shuttle options will be available to accommodate larger crowds. These days will be identified in advance on

Parking for Guests with Disabilities:

  • Accessible parking spaces are available in the White Lot near the Paddock Gate for guests with State Issued Disabled Persons Parking Permits.
  • Mobility Assistance golf carts are also available to shuttle guests from the free parking areas to the admission gates.

Valet Parking:

  • Valet parking will be available in the Yellow Lot near the Clubhouse Gate through Mother’s Day (May 13). Those wishing to valet park should enter Churchill Downs via Longfield Ave.
  • Cost for valet parking is $10 Thursday through Saturday and $20 on Mother’s Day.
  • Valet Parking is not available beginning May 14.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing Services (Uber, Lyft, etc.):

  • Guests utilizing taxis or ride share services should use the Churchill Downs auto court in front of the Barbaro Statue by the Derby Museum. This is accessible via Central Ave. for both pickup and drop-off on race days.

Guest Drop-Off:

  • Guests may be dropped off at the VIP Admission Gate.
  • Drop-off area may be accessed from Thornberry Ave. or Kentucky Derby Drive.

Kentucky Derby Museum Visitors:

  • Guests visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum may park in the Black, Orange and Green lots on Live Race days.
  • On days when the track is not racing, the Red and White parking lots are also available for museum guests.
  • Accessible parking spaces are available in the White Lot near the Paddock Gate.


  • Employees may park in the Turquoise Lot May 10-12.
  • Beginning on Mother’s Day (May 13) and continuing through the Spring Meet, employees should park in the track’s infield.
  • Employees will need a parking permit from their Supervisor to access the infield. The infield is accessed via the Stable Gate which is located on 4th Street at the entry to the Stable Area.

For more information on parking and entry procedures, including shuttle bus traffic, click here.

Phase one of Churchill Downs parking plan was completed ahead of Kentucky Derby 144. Phase two, which will renovate parking areas adjacent to Longfield Avenue, will begin after Mother's Day.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.