Updated on 03/20/2014 10:07AM

Belmont Park: Modest price increases for admission, seating at rich Belmont Stakes card

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While there will be some price increases in admission and seating for this year’s Belmont Stakes, they are not nearly as steep as initially thought when NYRA president and chief executive Chris Kay suggested they would be in line with prices for the Kentucky Derby.

Grandstand admission to the Belmont Stakes on June 7 will remain at $10, while clubhouse admission will increase by $10 to $30, the New York Racing Association announced Monday.

Some seats in the third floor of the clubhouse and grandstand will have increases from $10 to $20, but there will be a large selection of third-floor upper-tier reserved seats where prices will again range from $20 to $65. There will be a reduction in price for hundreds of second-floor grandstand seats, from $120 to $95, according to NYRA. In all, almost 30 percent of reserved seats on Belmont Stakes Day will be equal to or lower than last year’s prices.

“One of the key things is that the core fan can still get in for $10,” said David O’Rourke, NYRA’s vice president for corporate development. “All benches will be open – we’re not changing any of that.”

The biggest change is the introduction of what NYRA is calling the “Champagne Room,” which essentially is the Belmont Café, where NYRA hosts dark-day and offseason simulcasting. Pricing for that room is $300 and includes private access to the apron area in front of it as well as an all-day buffet and open bar. The capacity of that area is between 500 to 700, according to O’Rourke.

The Belmont Café will be redesigned and decorated in advance of Belmont Stakes Day.

NYRA also is introducing a “Trophy Room” that will feature a la carte dining choices and will be on the second-floor clubhouse, available to those seated past the finish line.

Seats in the Garden Terrace, the dining room on the fourth floor, will range in price from $375 to $450, with the higher-priced seats from the sixteenth pole to the finish line. In past years, all prices in the Garden Terrace were $350.

Last month, NYRA announced that the Belmont Stakes Day card would be enhanced to include 10 stakes races worth $7.7 million, with total purses for that day’s 13-race card reaching $8 million, making it the second-richest card in North America, behind only the Saturday of the Breeders’ Cup. Six stakes are Grade 1 races, including the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap and the $1 million Ogden Phipps, both moved from the Memorial Day card.

When the schedule for Belmont Stakes Day was announced, Kay mentioned that pricing would be on par with the Kentucky Derby, which charges $50 general admission and $350 per seat with a two-day required purchase.

“There’s always internal negotiations,” O’Rourke said when asked about the decision to keep price increases modest. “Giving fans a great day of racing for a great price is where we ended up.”

Grandstand and clubhouse admission as well as tickets and seats go on sale March 31.

NYRA also confirmed that admission for Saratoga will go up to $5 (grandstand) and $8 (clubhouse) from $3 and $5, respectively. Also, applications are now being accepted for the reserved seat lottery for the 2014 Saratoga season. Those who have customarily received ticket applications in the mail will so again. However, applications are also available at nyra.com/saratogatickets. Applications must be returned to the NYRA Box Office by April 15.

There are increases for parking at both Belmont Park and Saratoga as well. While general parking remains free at both tracks, preferred parking at the Belmont meet will go up from $2 to $3 while clubhouse parking will increase from $5 to $7. At Saratoga, preferred parking will increase from $5 to $7 and trackside parking will go up from $10 to $12.

In a previous version of this article it was incorrectly stated that total purses for 2014 Belmont Stakes card were $10 million. The figure is $8 million.

Bill McAvoy More than 1 year ago
Raising ticket prices at the Spa is just plain stupid. It's the one place in racing that draws families. Now a family of four costs Dad a twenty. That's real money. Ivory tower types don't get it.
William Sumner More than 1 year ago
A horse won't be able to run in the Metropolitan and the Belmont now. Conquistador Cielo, rest in peace.
Pat More than 1 year ago
More brilliant moves by The Toy Man and the NYRA to discourage new business. How can anyone be so stupid as to think raising prices will encourage new business and keep the buisness you have to keep coming back. Watch, within five years, NYRA will lose the casino revenue altogether or it will be at a severely reduced level, then watch the death spiral of NY racing. An utter disgrace and insult to everyone's intelligence.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
kinda like drf+..........lol
Rascal Rivetts More than 1 year ago
I just saw posted on a site and I see here, that the grandstand is now closed. Wow, racing will be dead within 10 yrs. Every move is just horrible and very telling.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
they, the NTRA, are so out of touch with the reality that there are no longer any full time jobs anymore! how do they expect part timers to pay for a sport on a serious downward spiral?
Harvey Savitsky More than 1 year ago
Enjoy reading about the new price increases announced yesterday at the SPA!
Jack Lee More than 1 year ago
And you have too bet into an outrageous 24% takeout!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Hard to believe that Crist is charging money to report(?) a fundraiser in Florida for a sick teenager.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
I'm happy to report that DRF moved that story to an "open" area...
Ricky Williams More than 1 year ago
Why not just stay home and save $300 dollars watch and play the races on H.R.T.V. sit in my easy chair and cook out on the grill and chill. The last time i went to the track, spent $10 dollars to get in and paid $14 for a beer and a burger and sat in LA traffic for two hours. As for the Kentucky derby weekend forget it. Night mare on elm street. I will never go back to that track $50 to stand behind the grandstand or $600 for cheep seats. Not a chance im ever going back there.
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
Good for u
Jordan More than 1 year ago
The redeeming aspect of Derby day at Churchill is that even with just general admission one has access to the paddock. You have to wade through a bunch of people, but if you are above average in height you can actually see the horses, jockeys, and trainers surprisingly well, because by that late in the afternoon a lot of the folks at the Downs are tipsy and as interested in each other as the atheletes. It worked out well for me because I'm well taller than average. Is the Derby day experience ideal? Do I prefer it to Breeder's Cup Day, or even Stephen Foster or Big Cap day? No to both. But im glad that I attended the 4 Derbys I did when I had the chance. But of the 3, easily the most enjoyable Triple Crown race to attend in person is the Belmont. I went in 2004 when a TC was on the line, 2005 when there was a showdown of the Derby and Preakness winners, and 2006 when nothing was on the line and neither Derby nor Preakness winner started. Belmont is such a giant facility that it can make a 100k crowd feel much smaller. And, at least when I went, with just GA I had access to not just the paddock, but also the 2nd and 3rd floors of the grandstand where there were standing room areas that offered nice views of the track. And in 2004, the cost was only 2 bucks.
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chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
I am flagging this in hopes the there is someone awake at DRF.
Marie Jost More than 1 year ago
Met Mile day on Memorial Day Monday had always been a great day to attend the races at Belmont every year. We always got a front window seat in the 4th floor dining terrace and enjoyed the $26 buffet spread that usually was very good. The supporting undercard races were always good stake races in their own right. Changing the Met Mile to be just another undercard race on Belmont Stakes Day is further driving the stake into the heart of horse racing's glorious tradition and folklore. If NYRA cannot recognize that, then they are truly misguided. For it is the horse and racing tradition that ultimately draws people to the track, not money-grabbing schemes.