05/26/2015 11:20AM

Tickets still available as NYRA preps for big Belmont Stakes Day

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With less than two weeks remaining until American Pharoah attempts to become Thoroughbred racing’s first Triple Crown winner in 37 years at the Belmont Stakes on June 6, approximately 22,000 grandstand general admission tickets still are available, according to the New York Racing Association.

NYRA officials confirmed that information after issuing a press release Tuesday detailing attempts to facilitate access in and out of Belmont Park this year after traffic and transit nightmares a year ago, when 102,199 fans came to watch California Chrome go for the Triple Crown.

“We are ahead of last year in terms of ticket sales,” said NYRA spokesman John Durso Jr.

Durso added that in past years, NYRA has sold 30,000 to 40,000 general admission tickets the day of the race.

NYRA announced it was capping attendance for this year’s Belmont at 90,000, a figure that would represent the sixth-largest Belmont Stakes crowd. Churchill Downs and Pimlico announced record crowds of 170,513 and 131,680, respectively, at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Both of those facilities make use of their vast infield property, while Belmont Park does not.

General admission tickets – which do not offer seating – cost $15 on track or $19.50 through Ticketmaster. NYRA is hoping to eliminate walk-up sales on Belmont Day but will sell general admission tickets on the day if they are not sold out by then. All reserved seating for Belmont Stakes Day is sold out.

Meanwhile, NYRA outlined a series of steps it hopes will improve access in and out of Belmont on June 6.

In conjunction with the Long Island Rail Road, NYRA has spent $5 million to upgrade the train station at Belmont Park. Platforms have been refurbished to handle 10-car trains as opposed to eight, and a nearby station will be closed in order to house trains that will come to Belmont Park immediately after one leaves the track’s station.

In its press release, NYRA advised fans using mass transit they “may have to wait up to 90 minutes to board trains at the end of the day when tens of thousands converge on the station all at once.”

NYRA is adding shuttles for fans who park on site and those who live locally or who park in surrounding communities. Fans who park on site can use shuttles that will be at the main clubhouse entrance, the main paddock gate, and the west paddock gate.

NYRA also will provide local shuttles from Belmont Park to specific points in neighboring Floral Park and Elmont for fans who don’t want to drive to the track. The specific pick-up and drop-off points can be found at BelmontStakes.com.

Despite all the changes, NYRA said, “Significant delays should be anticipated accessing and exiting the property, with fans encouraged to arrive early and stay late.”

Toward the latter point, NYRA plans to host a concert by the Goo Goo Dolls following the last race, post time for which is slated for 8:10 p.m., an hour and 20 minutes after the scheduled post for the Belmont Stakes.

Chuck Schafer More than 1 year ago
I DONT BELIEVE THEY ARE CAPPING ATTENDANCE THE BELMONT IS THE LEAST IMPORTANT OF THE THE THREE IF AHORSE DONT WIN THE TWO JEWELS THE BELMONT IS NOTHING BUT THE FEATURE RACEON THE 1ST SATURDAY IN JUNE I PLAN TO GO AND TAKE MY CHANCESTHIS MY TENTH BELMONT IN TWENTY YEARS BUT MY BACK UP IS TO GO TO AQUDUCT AND I WILL NEVER BET N Y R A AGAIN HEAR THAT CHRIS JAY ONE DISGRUNTLEDHORSEPLAYER
John Murray More than 1 year ago
Short term implications if AP wins the Triple Crown: 1. We all feel good, owner trainer jock and NA breeders and race fans. Hooray for us! 2. Breeding continues as before, even if the final time is again on the slower end. Long term implications if AP wins TC: 1. Nothing changes, still breeding dirt sprinters attempting to go beyond a mile. 2. Kentucky breds gradually fall out of favor internationally. 3. International racing moves ahead. Personally I want him to win but I have long term doubts about breeding classic distances and over medicated state of the sport, not to mention the lack of a unified management structure. I hope AP, or another winner, is part of a very close competitive field in a fast time, indicative of a healthy deep crop, rather than a multi-length daylight victory, which would indicate a super horse but not a super crop. It will take more than a TC winner to rectify some of NA's long term racing issues. In the meantime, we can all enjoy the brilliance of AP's season and the hope he instills for the future.
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago
People get wise to the bait and switch... even in horse racing. American Pharaoh would have to run like Secretariat to beat what Pletcher, Zito, et al, have in store for him. I keep wondering why Baffert won't let him get a feel for Big Sandy...?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you look at BB past history with Silver Charm, War Emblem, Real Quiet he trained them all at CD leading up to the Belmont. Trainers are *Creatures Of Habit* AK47
Bob Bernhardt More than 1 year ago
Indeed .... Surprised the 0 for 3 didn't change his mind.
Marc Estrich More than 1 year ago
Routine(A foolish consistency) is the hobgoblin of little minds. Emerson
wayne haehner More than 1 year ago
Bafferts theory is " they run better off the plane" as opposed to galloping over the surface in days and days in advance