Clearly, Louisville loves the lights

I know. I didn’t stand in a concession line for an hour or fight some of the crowded conditions down on the first floor.

But the bigger picture tonight after Churchill Downs’ first ever night racing program is that just over 28,000 people came, and the atmosphere was, indeed, electric.

I don’t want to write too much on it now, because I’ll deal with it in a column later. (Sorry to do it that way!) But whatever the kinks were in tonight’s program, they pale in comparison to the possibility that night racing now presents.

Churchill Downs management was already addressing problems in their outsourced concessions before the last race was run last night, and there were some unhappy folks within that group about the way things went.

But I think it probably won’t take a great deal for people to give them another chance. And reaction to the event shows that it’s an idea that deserves a chance to succeed.

Certainly, it’s something Churchill ought to be able to run with.

But what do you think? If you went, tell me what you thought.


22 thoughts on “Clearly, Louisville loves the lights

  1. Churchill Downs blew it last night. Yes, the night racing was nice. It was a joke out there. I had four people drive from Wisconsin to see this thing. We were in a box on the finish line. We left after the 6th race. It was impossible to get water, beer, food, etc. With the economic conditions facing facing this track, you would have thought that they would have staffed their concession areas with enough people to take our money. They didn't. I will not return for anymore night races. I am sure hundreds of others won't either.

  2. ANOTHER free pass for CD from the CJ. What a disaster. How can anyone still have a job after that embarrasment. I only wish they would give me the concessions contract.

  3. Has the CEO EVER sat among the everyday people at the Downs. No, I didnt think so. A great event, obviously people were interested. The inability to handle 28,000 people is a comedy. Night racing was awesome, unfortunately, CD brass was not prepared. Big surprise.

  4. The concessions were awful. I am very surprised how bad they blew that aspect. Having said that, I was able to find a beer (you kinda have to know where all the concessions are and use your head) without standing in line for an hour. The best part of the night was the social atmosphere. I saw people at the track I haven't seen this side of Derby Week. Good for Churchill. Now, spend money on an advertising campaign before next Friday to let everyone know you have fixed the concession problem.

  5. This is good stuff. The problem with these events is that, if you're up on the top three floors, it's a nice night. If you're down on the ground, it's 90 minute lines. I hung out down there quite a bit last night, but if anyone posting here would like to comment for the record, I'd be happy to include your thoughts. Just shoot me a note at

  6. I would appreciate if they would stop testing the lights when I'm on my way to work. The lights are really blinding when you are driving up 3rd-4th to Central.

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