The Starting Line: The Kentucky Derby by the Numbers

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Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else. 

This weekend, some of the world’s best thoroughbreds will take to the track for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.

With that in mind, here’s a look inside some of the relevant news, notes and numbers in less time than it will take the horses to make their way around the mile-and-a-quarter track.

Churchill Downs, let me upgrade you

The Kentucky Derby’s iconic track opened in 1875 and has undergone quite the transformation over the years. According to Churchill Downs, since 2005, the track has undergone more than $200 million in renovations. Here’s a look at where some of that money has gone.

– $5 million – Spent on the addition of a new rooftop garden offering exclusive sightlines for more than 500 racing fans.

– $16 million – Spent on upgrades to the second floor of the clubhouse. The enhanced amenities include upgraded food and beverage offerings with 25 new points of sale, more than 75 additional restroom facilities and added wagering windows and flat-screen televisions.

– $32 million – Spent on the addition of a larger bus depot, a pedestrian plaza and enlarged paddock entrance gate for guests to enter and exit the racetrack from the bus depot.

– $37 million – Spent on the addition of more than 1,800 new seats for last year’s Derby through the addition of new luxury suites, interior dining tables and third-floor grandstand seats.

Which brands will you see this year?

According to the track’s official sponsor and promotional guide, 53 brands are either official sponsors or promotional partners for this year’s Derby. Here’s a look at some you will likely see on Saturday.

1. Woodford Reserve – Presenting Sponsor of the Kentucky Derby
2. Longines – Official Watch of Churchill Downs
3. Chrysler/Ram Trucks – Official Truck of Churchill Downs
4. G.H. Mumm – Official Champagne and Sparkling Wine of the Kentucky Derby
5. vineyard vines – Official Style of the Kentucky Derby

What else should you know? 

In case you are having a Derby watch party or just want to have some fun tidbits for the office this week, here are five facts you should know heading into this weekend, according to Wallet Hub.

1.  $238 million: Amount of money expected to be wagered on the Kentucky Derby this year. 2018 set the record with $225.7 million wagered.
2.  120,000 – Number of Mint Juleps served over Kentucky Derby weekend, requiring 1,000 pounds of fresh mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.
3.  11.7 million minutes – The amount of streaming time for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, making it the most-streamed Derby ever.
4.  $1.86 million: What the winner will take home this year.
5.  $500 to $1,000 – Price of a high-end Kentucky Derby hat (90% of female spectators wear hats).