Expect big changes for parking near Churchill Downs for Derby Week
The new restrictions on Central Avenue and changes for parking at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and the Ky. Expo Center.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Expect big changes for getting to Churchill Downs and parking near the track for Derby Week.
Track officials say parking restrictions go into place on opening night of the spring meet, Saturday, April 28, and last through the Kentucky Derby on May 5. And pay attention to the parking restrictions that change depending on the day you go to the track.
First of all, know that all on-site parking at the track is now reserved. Only vehicles that have hand tags and special parking permits will be allowed on Churchill Downs property, and track officials say those same tags and permits will be needed even if vehicles are dropping off guests.
The biggest change is for Central Avenue on Thurby, Oaks and Derby days. No pedestrians or cars will be allowed on Central Avenue from Crittenden Drive to Taylor Boulevard for those three days. The thoroughfare will be dedicated to shuttle buses carrying people from parking at the Kentucky Expo Center. So plan your route ahead of time to get to the track.
TARC said it will be running buses to the track as well. For Thurby, Oaks and Derby, only shuttle buses can access Central Avenue from Crittenden Drive to Taylor Boulevard
For those three days, pedestrians will be able to cross Central Avenue only at Third and Ninth Streets. Then they can walk to the Paddock entrance, which is a new addition between Gate 1 and Gate 17.
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium:
If you're going to opening night on Saturday, April 28, you can park at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium for free and take a complimentary shuttle to the track.
Parking and shuttles are also free on Tuesday and Wednesday of Derby week.
On Thursday, parking at PJCS is still free, but there are no shuttles. You have to walk to the track.
Oaks and Derby, parking at the stadium is $20 per car per day, and there are no shuttles. It's about a 20 minute walk to the track.
Kentucky Expo Center:
Parking at the Kentucky Expo Center is free on Thursday, May 3 for Thurby, and you can take a complimentary shuttle to the track.
But on Oaks and Derby Days, all Expo Center parking lots are reserved for Churchill Downs ticketholders. The permits sold with tickets include the shuttle to the track.
Finally, you can always opt for neighborhood parking around Churchill Downs, if you want to haggle with the locals for a spot on the street or in someone's yard.
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