What Are the Best Seats at the Kentucky Derby?

What Are the Best Seats at the Kentucky Derby?

We get this question a lot because there are so many different sections to choose from at Churchill Downs. Buying tickets for the Kentucky Derby can be confusing without an expert by your side to guide you through the process.

Luckily, we’re here to help. With over 50 years of combined experience at the Kentucky Derby – and a home base in Louisville at the heart of the action – Derby Tickets Inc. helps people around the world build unforgettable Derby experiences no matter where they sit at the races.

If you want to discover the best seats at the Kentucky Derby, keep reading our in-depth guide to find out!

General Admission

Price: Tickets start at $99
Click here to buy your General Admission tickets.

General admission tickets are the most affordable option at the Kentucky Derby but they also come with some drawbacks. The section is standing room only and has no cover from the hot southern sun. In addition, the General Admission area doesn’t have a view of the track – ticket-holders have to watch the race on the state-of-the-art 4k video board instead.

General Admission tickets are a budget-friendly way to experience the races, but they are certainly not the best seats at the Kentucky Derby.

Grandstand Seating

Price: Tickets start at $525
Click here to buy your Grandstand tickets.

The grandstand is broken up into three sections: first tier, second tier, and third tier seating.

First Tier Grandstand

The best seats in the first tier grandstand are on track level in section 121 and 122. Although this section only offers uncovered, bleacher-style seating, it’s located in between the starting gate and finish line so you’re right in the center of the action.

Second Tier Grandstand

The second tier grandstand has both bleacher-style seating and seats with backs. This section spans rows from A to N, but only the last four are covered. In the second tier grandstand, the best seats are in the first two covered rows in section 221 and 222. These have a prime location with views of the horses coming out of the fourth turn and racing to the finish line.

Third Tier Grandstand

The third tier grandstand is the highest and has the best view of the track. Forget the benches and stadium seating – you and five friends can book your own private box here! The best grandstand seats at the Kentucky Derby are in the first covered rows – D, E, and F – of the third floor. Book in section 322 and 323 to reserve seats closest to the finish line.

The Clubhouse

Price: Tickets start at $625
Click here to buy your Clubhouse tickets.

Clubhouse tickets come with plenty of perks, like nicer betting windows, restrooms, and concessions than the grandstand seats. Some tickets also include a lunch buffet, alcohol, and tickets the Kentucky Oaks race at Churchill Downs the day before the Derby as well.

First Floor Clubhouse

There are plenty of options in the First Floor Clubhouse but we recommend sitting right on the rail. The best seats are in section 116 and 117 where you’ll have a nearly unobstructed view of the race from a prime location – right at the starting gates and finish line. These six-seat boxes also come with access to the betting windows, paddock, First Floor Clubhouse amenities, and concessions.

Third Floor Clubhouse

The Third Floor Clubhouse takes it up a notch. Most of these eight-seat boxes are covered and boast private TV monitors and a spectacular view from high above the track. If you want to mingle with industry experts and celebrities, the third-floor clubhouse is the place to be. The best seats in the Third Floor Clubhouse are right on the finish line in rows D, E, and F in Sections 316 and 317 as they split the finish line.

The Courtyard

Last, but certainly not least, is The Courtyard. These clubhouse seats are trackside so you can enjoy the energy of the crowd from your own private oasis. Here you can lounge in padded chairs, take advantage of a private bar, concessions, and betting booths, and revel in front-row views of the finish line, paddock walkway, and winner’s circle. Outside of the luxury seating listed below, Courtyard tickets are widely regarded as some of the best seats at the Kentucky Derby.

Luxury Seating

Price: Tickets start at $3,950
Click here to buy your Luxury tickets.

Without a doubt, the Luxury boxes are the best seats at the Kentucky Derby. There are quite a few to choose from, though, so read this breakdown carefully before you decide what’s right for you!

Millionaires Row

The famous Millionaires Row very exlusive. Row A on the first floor will give you prime seating on the expansive Veranda where the races and stadium unfurl beneath your feet. Sit back and relax because waiter service ensures you never have to leave your seat if you don’t want to.

The Turf Club

The Turf Club is a private club with a prime position on the finish line. Tickets guarantee a spot at the eight-seat tables and access to a lavish buffet, a top-shelf open bar, and almost all of Churchill Downs throughout the day. The best seats are at the tables lining the front window in Row A.

Jockey Club Suites

The Jockey Club Suites accommodate 24 guests each. Tickets include catering, a full bar, reserved parking, private balconies, and a spectacular view of the finish line. Even better, use of the suite for the Kentucky Oaks race the day before the Derby is included as well!

Starting Gate Suites

The Starting Gate Suites were a new addition at the 2018 Kentucky Derby. They’re similar to the Jockey Club Suites but slightly larger (accommodating 32 people rather than 24) and located closer to the fourth turn on the track (right at the start of the exciting stretch to the finish line). Churchill Downs also announced that they’re constructing a brand new rooftop garden above the Starting Gate Suites for the 2019 races.

The Mansion

The amenities at the Mansion are truly second to none. These tickets are so exclusive that Town & Country reports that you need an invite just to buy one! Don’t worry, though. With our connections, we’ve got you covered.

These are the best seats at the Kentucky Derby simply because the location and level of luxury are unmatched. Mansion tickets come with full access to Churchill Downs and a private concierge. Prime parking spots are included and top-tier chefs are flown in to prepare an array of delectable dishes for the event. You can also expect to be pampered with lots of little extras like a serviced makeup counter in the bathroom and a glass of champagne on the elevator ride up to the 10,000-square-foot-suite.

Without a doubt, the Mansion has the best seats at the Kentucky Derby.

It’s clear that this exclusive suite dishes up a world-class experience and the absolute best seats for the race.

Shop our listings online, send us a message, or call us. We will help you get the tickets that work for you.

Derby Tickets Inc

We have been in business since 1987 and from the start we didn't just enjoy selling tickets and going to the track but also offering great advice and information about everything Derby.

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