Changes for spectators at 2015 Oaks and Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There will be some changes in security at this year's Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs has added a few things to the list of banned items and they won't let you back in if you leave.
"We just wanted to get with the times like any major sporting event," said Darren Rogers of Churchill Downs.
He says it's all about security, smooth lines and preventing counterfeiting. More than 20 items are banned and if you show up with one, there's a chance you might lose it.
Rhonda Harding is about to attend her 16th Derby and says it's a wonderful way to celebrate Kentucky. But the perfect outfit isn't the only thing on her mind.
She and other women will need to plan ahead because their purses will have to be smaller than 12 inches in any dimension.
"I need to bring a spare pair of shoes,” said Harding. “You wear heels all day, you gotta bring a spare pair of shoes, you've got makeup, you got all kinds of things you need to bring. It's just hard."
The biggest change this year is that if you leave the track, you won't be allowed back in.
“I've never had to leave and come back because once I'm here, I'm here." said one woman.
"Once you go through the gate you're fitted with a wrist band that gives you access,” explained Rogers. “The next thing you know, people were going out in the parking lot and making counterfeit wristbands."
There are 22 items that are banned this year including coolers, cans, glass bottles and containers. Your camera lens cannot be longer than six inches and, of course, you're not allowed to bring in outside alcohol, backpacks, or umbrellas.
The track says it's also banning drones alongside the popular selfie sticks, because they can get in people's way and be used as weapons.
"People can still take selfies,” said Rogers, “you just have to do it old school and use your hand."
If you show up with a banned item, you might have to give it up.
“The security officers will not store them, they will not hold them for later,” said Rogers. “Patrons will either have an opportunity to take them back to their vehicle, or they're going to have to discard it into a dumpster."
There is a two bag limit per person for all things that are allowed. That list can be found by clicking here.
Churchill Downs also has made a change in the Kentucky Derby and Oaks Day admission process at Gate 3, a popular entrance to the infield located near 4th Street and Central Avenue. Guests who use that gate will need to have their general admission tickets in hand before they approach that gate.
Derby and Oaks general admission tickets are currently available for online purchase at www.KentuckyDerby.com - $55 in advance online or $60 at the gate for the Derby, and $35 in advance or $40 at the gate for the Oaks.
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