02/11/2005 1:00AM

Belmont Day tickets soar


Fans will have to dig deeper into their pockets to attend this year's Belmont Stakes, as ticket prices for prime clubhouse seats were increased by 162 percent over last year.

Also, the New York Racing Association will prohibit fans from bringing alcoholic beverages into Belmont Park on Belmont Day, June 11.

Tickets for the best clubhouse seats are $110, compared with $45 last year. That includes the $5 cost of admission. Clubhouse seats are also priced at $65 and $45, with the cheaper seats having an obstructed view.

Preferred grandstand seats cost $100 and $60. Grandstand seats are also priced at $40 and $20. Last year, clubhouse seats, with admission, were priced at $45, $30, and $20. Grandstand seats were $27, $17, and $9.

General admission on Belmont Stakes Day has been raised from $2 to $10, while clubhouse admission has been increased from $5 to $20. General parking has been raised to $10, and preferred parking is now $25.

Bill Nader, the senior vice president for NYRA, said Belmont Stakes tickets have long been underpriced.

"Everybody knows our financial picture," Nader said. "We needed to step up and correct the pricing of the event . . . yet still be at a level where it's not going to price anybody out.''

Nader said the ban on alcoholic beverages was a result of several incidents at last year's Belmont, when a record 120,139 were in attendance. Another factor, Nader said, was the recent decision against concessionaire Aramark, which was found liable for $75 million in punitive damages after a fan at a New York Giants home football game in 1999 was charged with DWI in an accident that left a young girl paralyzed.