Kentucky Derby Official Ticket Package vs. General Admission

Posted by Evan Chronis on Fri, Sep 13, 2019

If you're reading this, you're probably interested in attending the Kentucky Derby®.

But there's a lot to know before making that final purchasing decision. Most importantly, what's the difference between an Official Ticket Package for the Kentucky Derby and a general admission ticket. 

Here we break down what you can get with each to help make your decision a little bit easier. 

Official Ticket Package vs. General Admission Ticket

Derby Experiences Official Ticket Package

Multiple Seating Options

An Official Ticket Package offers you the most versatility when deciding what seating section to pick at Churchill Downs® for the Kentucky Derby. 

Derby Experiences offers tickets all throughout the Grandstand, Courtyard and Clubhouse sections of Churchill Downs, as well as the Premium seating sections from the 3rd through 6th floor. 

This versatility when choosing seats lets you experience the Derby in the way you prefer, whether that's with open air, covered or indoor seating options. 

Hospitality Venues throughout Churchill Downs

Hospitality has completely changed the way that the Kentucky Derby is experienced and Official Ticket Packages are the easiest way to secure your access to the best hospitality at Churchill Downs. 

In 2020, Derby Experiences will host five private hospitality spaces — Aristides Lounge, Affirmed Lounge, Whirlaway Lounge, Citation Lounge and Sunny's Halo Lounge

Read: Derby Experiences Hospitality Breakdown

But you're not limited to just those five options. Derby Experiences also allows you to buy into Premium hospitality spaces like the Trophy Room, Millionaire's Row, the Derby Room and much more. 

Fast Access Lane Entrance

It should go without saying that things get a little hectic at Churchill Downs during Derby weekend. You can ease the stress of your initial entry through the gates of Churchill Downs with Fast Access Lane entry, which comes with every Official Ticket Package from Derby Experiences. 

Transportation Options

With an Official Ticket Package, Derby Experiences can arrange your transportation to an from Churchill Downs the days of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.

Multiple types of transportation are available, including motor coach, private vehicle or semi-private. 

Private Tours During Derby Weekend

Official Ticket Packages let you branch out from just Churchill Downs on Derby weekend. Every Official Ticket Package comes with the option to add select tours to your order to round out your time in Louisville.

Here are the current tour options:

Exclusive Kentucky Derby Parties

The Kentucky Derby plays host to some of the biggest parties of the year. And most importantly, you can get access to the best parties through an Official Ticket Package. 

Taste of Derby

When: April 30

Where: KFC Yum! Center

Fillies & Lilies Party

When: May 1

Where: Kentucky Derby Museum

Barnstable Brown Gala

When: May 1

Where: Barnstable Brown Mansion

Winner's Party

When: May 2

Where: Kentucky Derby Museum

Early Access to Tickets

Finally we arrive to one of the most convincing reasons that an Official Ticket Package may be for you. 

Packages go on sale immediately after the conclusion of the previous year's Derby, meaning that you have a full calendar year to buy. For reference, general admission tickets for the 2020 Kentucky Derby don't go on sale until November 2019. 

Read: What's the best time to buy Kentucky Derby tickets?

See available packages below:

2020 Kentucky Derby Official Ticket Packages

General Admission Ticket

Access to Churchill Downs

For those who just want to get in the door at Churchill Downs, there isn't a better deal than grabbing an infield ticket. 

General admission tickets also allow access to first floor seating in the Clubhouse or Grandstand section and the Paddock area (we'll get to that below). GA tickets also let you go to the second level ITW and Food Court at Churchill Downs. 

Outside Food Permitted

If you're not someone who cares about having your food catered within hospitality though an Official Ticket Package, you can still attend the Derby without an empty stomach.

Churchill Downs allows general admission guests to bring food into the track that is in clear plastic bags. "Box" lunches in clear plastic bags and containers are also allowed, as are water and soft drinks. 

Access to the Paddock

While it doesn't offer as much access as an official Paddock Tour, you can still easily explore the Paddock with a general admission ticket. 

All it takes is literally just heading over there and joining in on the action — the paddock is guaranteed to be filled with onlookers throughout the weekend. This is a great way to get a glimpse of all the horses about the compete before they make their way to the track.