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Belmont Stakes tickets on sale Monday; prices increase
Tickets for the June 6 Belmont Stakes will go on sale Monday at 10 a.m., the New York Racing Association announced Saturday, and, unsurprisingly, there will be price increases.
Grandstand admission will cost $15, while clubhouse admission will be $40. Last year, those prices were $10 and $30. According to a NYRA press release, the increase in grandstand admission is the first since 2005.
NYRA is encouraging fans to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster.com. Tickets also will be available through the NYRA box office.
Though there are some seats that went down in price – specifically two sections in the grandstand – the majority of prices did go up. The most inexpensive grandstand seats went from $20 to $30, but this year it does include the price of admission. Those seats are above the eighth pole.
This year, NYRA is building up the Friday before the Belmont Stakes, running five stakes races on that card. Therefore, seats in the second and third floors of the clubhouse are priced for two days. Third-floor clubhouse seats that last year cost $80 to $140 are now priced at $115 to $205, with admission price included.
Grandstand and clubhouse admission prices for Friday’s card have not been set. Last year, it was $5.
Box seats that cost $300 last year for Belmont Day cost $400 this year for June 5-6.
NYRA again will be offering premium packages such as the Champagne Room, the price of which went up from $300 to $400. Garden Terrace prices that were $375 to $450 last year will be priced at $500 to $550 this year.
A complete list of pricing should be available at NYRA.com.
NYRA is hosting a post-Belmont Stakes concert but did not reveal which act would be performing. NYRA officials hope that the concert will help stagger the departure of the crowd.
Last year, when attendance for Belmont Day was announced at 102,199, there were a multitude of problems for fans trying to leave Belmont Park following the races. One of the main problems dealt with the Long Island Rail Road, which was inept getting trains in and out of the track.
This year, NYRA and the LIRR worked on a plan to alleviate the issue, including upgrading station platforms that will increase train capacity at the track to 10 cars from eight.
"The LIRR is on schedule with construction of new, modernized station platforms and operational changes that will double the number of trains that can run to the track on Belmont Stakes Day and increase train capacity from eight to 10 cars," said LIRR president Patrick A. Nowakowski. "We look forward to significant service improvements for customers riding to and from this great event."
In hopes of addressing other problems from last year, NYRA announced that it will be increasing cellphone and wireless capacity as well as adding additional concession stations and adding more walk-around vendors to sell beer and water.
I was at the 2014 event and my second floor clubhouse seats were overrun when security gave up. If there is no triple crown on the line this year NYRA will have lots of bottled water to pack up. If they really want to promote the game, they shouldn't be raising the barrier to entry (fee). The fact that entry fees haven't been raised in 10 years is an absurd point, when mega facilities like Belmont have become irrelevant, barring boutique meets, or the new megaplex concept like Gulfstream. I see they've bundled Friday and Saturday tickets together, so your cost of admission just skyrocketed if you don't attend Friday's card.
What NYRA needed to do last year and should do this year, especially if again the Belmont Stakes is followed by Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals is this: 1. Made it clear ahead of time that Belmont Park would be staying open throughout the entire evening Saturday until at least Midnight. Once the live program is complete, if like last year NBC or NBCSN has Game 2 of Stanley Cup Finals that night, showing that game on the giant screens in the infield (and before that on monitors throughout the facility), with Belmont Park remaining open until 25 minutes after the conclusion of that game if it runs past 11:35 PM. Full-card simulcasting at Belmont Park as I would do it would commence at 7:15 PM, roughly 20 minutes after The Belmont Stakes. Simulcast wagering would be restricted to the self-service machines throughout the building and live tellers only in those areas that normally would be open for such in the evening would take such non-Belmont Park wagers since many of the tellers that day are not regulars. 2. As an incentive for people not to leave immediately following The Belmont Stakes and to help smooth out the flow of people leaving, beginning at 7:45 PM food and non-alcoholic beverage prices would be as I would do it severely slashed (as much as 75% though alcoholic beverages would have remained at regular prices) so people who don't have to leave immediately following The Belmont Stakes would be encouraged to remain and have dinner at Belmont Park, with even perhaps after 8:00 PM or so a special post-Belmont all-you-can-eat dinner buffet in the clubhouse for those to stay. With that in mind, should we have a repeat of last year on Belmont Stakes Day, I would have assume a crowd of 110,000 for Belmont Stakes day with as many as 25-30,000 of those who come remaining at Belmont Park as late as through the end of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals assuming they are on Belmont Stakes Day as they were a year ago. 3. Work with the LIRR to have service scheduled to run to 12:15 AM, but if Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals runs long have service continue through at least 45 minutes following the conclusion of that game. In this scenario a year ago, as Game 2 did run long, service would have last year continued from Belmont Park until approximately 12:30 AM. In addition, I would have ask the LIRR starting around 7:15 PM or so to honor all train tickets from Belmont Park at Queens Village, Bellerose and Floral Park stations (the three LIRR stations closest to Belmont Park) and also ask the LIRR to if possible have trains that operate on the Port Jefferson Branch stop at ANY of those stations to pick up people coming from Belmont Park as well (and again, honoring all Belmont Park tickets). Patrons would be asked if possible to walk to any of those three LIRR stations (with Queens Village and Floral Park emphasized since not as many lines can stop at Bellerose) and it made clear Belmont Park LIRR tickets would be honored at those stations. All of this comes from personal experience. When Smarty Jones went for the Triple Crown in 2004, I actually walked to the Queens Village LIRR station and used a City Ticket going back to Manhattan from Belmont Park, riding a far less crowded train in doing so knowing the Belmont Park station would be jammed and in other years did the bus-to-subway combination for the same reason. Part of the experience of Belmont Stakes day is being able to comfortably get back, and given the constraints between the roads and rails that now seems to be the part that needs to be worked on. That is why I would intentionally keeo Belmont Park open at least midnight in order to as much as realistically possible minimize the number of people leaving at any one time. If NYRA has to run the day after the Belmont Stakes, I would make that Sunday an experimental "Six at Six" program: Six races with a special first race post time of 6:00 PM (last race around 8;30 PM). That would give people more time to get Belmont cleaned up for that program and would be an incentive perhaps for some people to return the next evening for an abbreviated program.
The main problem I had was with parking - I was in a fenced in area, right next to the training track. At the end of the night, there was no one to direct traffic out of the lots where I was. That lead to all out chaos - no one knew where to go, and with cars trying to exit from all sides, it was a madhouse. I didn't even attempt to leave for a half hour. Didn't do any good. It took me somewhere between 2 & 3hrs to get off the property - there's much more I could add to the story, but that's the gist of it. I went to Wrestlemania that same year, and they had a ton of people directing traffic in to the parking area & out at the end of the night. It took me about 40min in total to get into parking & out. I don't plan to go to the Belmont S. anytime soon - I'll stick to something like the JCGC. If you've never been to the track, & last year was your only experience, why would you want to go back & pay even more?
What about increasing security and law enforcement those were HUGE problems last year and not only the LIRR but the parking lot and cars getting out..or should I sitting for 2 hours waiting to get out. Get your heads out of you-know-whats NYRA!
Churchhill Downs is Worst. Only thing I don't like is When a Horse is going for the TC they Knock on Stall to Fill the Race with Maidens , Claimers and Donkey's. Lack of a TC is Due to the Fuc%^^%% of the System. A TC winner and they Could Raise Prices. Years ago when Horses Won TC the Fields were Small....
Chris Kay has no business running NYRA. The man has no idea how to relate to the racing fan, and the price increases on Belmont Day is an embarrassment. I have attended 30 of the last 35 Belmont Stakes, yet this year I will be watching from home, even though I live 15 minutes from Belmont. NYRA has become a joke, and I am beginning to focus in on other tracks to wager my money on, while I have been playing NYRA for over 35 years. Unless you have money to burn, I can't understand how anyone would pay these outlandish prices to be allowed to wager money on horse racing.
The only clueless ones here are the alleged "sports fans" who would pay these ridiculous gouging prices for an afternoon at Belmont Park. 95% of them wouldn't know the difference between the races that day from the ones they run on Wednesday afternoon. Except for the Belmont Stakes and that's only because of all the hype. You can't blame NYRA because like every other sport, the so-called sports fans continue to pay whatever price tag is established just to say they we're there. Until this crowd takes a step back a says "It's costing me what for this?" all sporting venues will continue to raise the rates. If Belmont Park gets lucky and the Triple Crown is in play, expect to see another article like this next year at this time.
I wouldn't go to the Belmont Stakes even if you gave me free tickets. I'm stunned, people pay these prices?
These people at NYRA are insane. After that disaster last year they have the nerve to place the blame solely on the LIRR. Once again, they bury their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge the full scope of the problem. Their customer service and amenities were horrendous. We could not hear the race calls, the lines were out of control and the food was not edible. And for this they decide to raise prices. They are out of their minds. They should have reduced them, with an apology for what happened. I want a triple crown as much as anyone, but this time around, I hope they get less than half the people they got last year. No go, Chris Kay.
Entire price increase could be paid for by making Manhattan and Phipps $750,000 (instead of $1 million each) and the Met Mile $1 million instead of $1.25MM, and literally the exact same field would enter the starting gate for each race. NYRA's BEL day now just channels money from average racing fans into the pockets of already-well-to-do owners, trainers, and jockeys.