From Churchill Downs:

Track launches to help visitors plan their arrival

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Churchill Downs Racetrack (“Churchill Downs”), home of the world-famous Kentucky Derby, announced today its new parking and traffic plan for Derby Week and the launch of

Significant changes have been made ahead of the 2018 season to improve the arrival experience for guests planning to visit the historic track during Derby Week, which begins with Opening Night on Saturday, April 28. These changes create a safer and more convenient arrival experience for all guests, but especially for those ticket holders who have not received official parking in prior years.

The new plan, which was developed with input from traffic planning consultants and officials with the Louisville Metro Police Department, is designed to expand the parking capacity and shuttle service for guests parking in offsite parking locations while maintaining the onsite parking at Churchill Downs and in the neighborhoods surrounding Churchill Downs.

“Each year, Churchill Downs is proud to welcome more than 150,000 people to the Kentucky Derby. One of the recurring themes we hear in post-event customer surveys is the challenge our guests face when trying to travel to and from the track on our biggest days. We know that our guests get to the track in a variety of ways, and we have gone to great lengths to accommodate everyone’s needs with this new plan,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack.

“Many of our guests have time-honored Derby traditions, which we took into consideration when developing this year’s plan. That’s why options like neighborhood parking are still available and encouraged,” said Flanery. “However, there are changes to this year’s parking procedures that everyone should be aware of before heading to the track. To ensure you have the best experience possible, please visit to plan your arrival.”

Notable changes to this year’s parking and entry plan include:

  • Parking and arrival options vary depending on which day you are coming to the track. To plan your arrival, go to and download the Churchill Downs and Waze mobile apps.
  • All onsite parking at Churchill Downs is reserved, beginning Opening Night (Saturday, April 28) through Derby Day, May 5. To improve traffic around the racetrack, only vehicles with designated hang tags and parking tickets will be able to access the property. This also applies to guests who are being dropped off.
  • Central Ave. between Crittenden Dr. and Taylor Blvd. will be restricted to official shuttle buses on Thurby (May 3), and closed to the public Oaks (May 4) and Derby (May 5). During these days, pedestrians will only be able to cross Central Ave. at 3rd St. and 9th St. Restricting access to Central Ave. will allow guest shuttles from offsite parking spaces at the Kentucky Exposition Center to get to and from Churchill Downs more efficiently.
  • Ticketholders with reserved parking permits at the Kentucky Exposition Center (“KEC”) will have access to free shuttles to and from the tracks on Oaks and Derby Days. Churchill Downs has expanded and enhanced this year’s parking and shuttling operation at the KEC to accommodate more ticket holders. On Thurby only, guests without reserved parking can also park at the KEC for free and ride a complimentary shuttle to the track.
  • Parking at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium is still available all week, but shuttles will only be running from the stadium to Churchill Downs on Opening Night (Saturday), Tuesday and Wednesday of Derby Week. On Oaks and Derby, guests without reserved parking can park at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, which charges $20, and make the short walk to Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs released a short video to highlight the changes:

For more information, including maps, visit kentuckyderbyparking.comand download the Churchill Downs and Waze mobile apps.