02/28/2017 3:51PM

Breeders' Cup to cap Del Mar event at 37,500 each day

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Breeders’ Cup will limit ticket sales to 37,500 attendees for each day of the two-day event this year on Nov. 3-4 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club near San Diego, the company announced on Tuesday.

Breeders’ Cup made the announcement on Tuesday from Del Mar in advance of ticket sales opening to the general public on March 6. With a cap of 37,500 each day, total attendance for the two days will be the lowest for any Breeders’ Cup since the event expanded to two days in 2007, but Breeders’ Cup officials said that the cap will ensure that the event runs smoothly for all those fortunate enough to get in the door.

This is the second time in the past three years that Breeders’ Cup has capped attendance at its event. Ticket sales were also limited in 2015 at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington for designated seating areas, but because Breeders’ Cup also sold tickets to attendees in tailgate areas and other locations where fans could not enter the track, attendance for the event was reported as 44,947 for the Friday card and 50,155 for the Saturday card.

Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup’s president, said at the press event on Tuesday that Breeders’ Cup began offering tickets to “long-time patrons” in a special offer on Tuesday morning, and that demand for the tickets was robust.

“We’re well on our way to doing what we said we were going to do when we came to Del Mar, which is sell it out quickly,” Fravel said.

Breeders’ Cup and Del Mar also announced that the two organizations plan to spend $4.5 million on “updating the facility” for the event, including the creation of a chalet village and an infield area called “The Beach” that will feature sand floors and casual seating. The temporary seating plans will add 2,700 seats to the track, the officials said, including 900 new box seats.

Fravel said that like the Keeneland event, all parking will be pre-sold for the Del Mar event, and Breeders’ Cup plans to provide shuttles from local hotels for approximately 10,000 ticketholders. Though there were complaints from many fans prior to the Keeneland event about the lack of parking at the track, Breeders’ Cup and the city of Lexington received high praise after the event for a coordinated traffic plan that quickly ushered people in and out of the track.

“Planning is going to be a very important thing,” Fravel said.

The mayors of both San Diego and La Jolla were at the press event on Tuesday, and both said they looked forward to working with Breeders’ Cup on planning for its event.