Churchill Downs’ neighbors nervous Derby restrictions will impact their yearly parking revenue

Churchill Downs’ neighbors nervous Derby restrictions will impact their yearly parking revenue

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As Louisville prepares for the 146th Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is preparing for spectators. Wednesday, Churchill Downs released a 62-page guide, tightening restrictions on how spectators can attend the Derby. Among the restrictions are mandatory masks, along with the elimination of standing-room-only, infield, and general admission seating. Capacity will be limited to 23,000 people.

Neighbors on Queen Avenue often open their lawns for public parking during Derby weekend. With capacity now limited, some are nervous they won't see the revenue they're used to.
Neighbors on Queen Avenue often open their lawns for public parking during Derby weekend. With capacity now limited, some are nervous they won't see the revenue they're used to. (Source: Courtesy: WAVE 3 News)

Those new restrictions make Vicky Price nervous. As Price sat outside Wednesday, the only cars in her front yard were her own. She’s worried in three weeks, that may still be the case.

“We may not get nothing,” Price said. “I don’t know.”

Price has lived on Oleanda Avenue for three years. Her home is just across the street from the racetrack. Usually, her house is prime real estate come the first weekend in May, due in part to her large front lawn.

“It’s filled of cars, buses, or limos or whatever we can grab,” Price said.

Price is one of many in the Taylor Berry neighborhood who opens her lawns to public parking during the Derby. It’s a side business Price told WAVE 3 News can be very lucrative.

“[I’ve made] a thousand dollars,” Price said. “And usually it’s the out-of-towners and they don’t mind paying it. They like helping us as much as we’re helping them get a parking space.”

That may not be the case in 2020. Though the new restrictions do encourage people to utilize neighborhood parking, some are worried the coronavirus will ruin this yearly hustle.

“There are a lot of people who sell hot dogs, hamburgers, cokes, even beer,” neighbor Catina Cole said. “But, they depend on that money. I mean, that’s what they use year-round to pay their bills. That’s their hustle, that and Oaks.”

Due to recent hospital trips, the bills have piled up for Price and her husband. That’s why she prays this year’s Run For the Roses will be just as lucrative as the ones in years past.

“It’s nice just to have that extra [money],” Price said. “I’m sure everybody’s thinking the same thing that gets into it every year.”

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