It seems several local folks have a bone to pick with Churchill Downs and what they regard as an overall erosion of the track’s tradition and heritage in favor of renovations and additions – like the new giant video board -- geared to increase its bottom line.
But I have a hard time getting that upset, because – let’s be honest -- Churchill Downs is a business. Of course it’s focused on making money. If it ever fails in that regard, we’ll have a lot more to lament than whether giant video boards and tradition are mutually exclusive.
I also hear the complaints that the track no longer seems to care about “the two-dollar bettor.” But speaking as one of the all-time small stakes gamblers myself, I have a hard time identifying anything that’s now missing from the experience I’ve always enjoyed.
I know some people will always regard any change as bad. But in the entertainment industry – and that’s the business Churchill is in – you either change or die. And considering the tremendous disadvantage our legislature has imposed upon our state’s tracks through its stubborn resistance to expanded casino gambling, we should be happy Churchill’s still giving it their best effort.
Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby have been changing and evolving ever since the 19th century. And considering their importance to this community, I think they deserve our support – not our scorn.
Call and tell us what you think.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.