The latest construction project set for Churchill Downs Racetrack continues a run, when completed, of about 15 years of worth more than $240 million in capital projects at the home of the Kentucky Derby.
What could you get for $240 million? The picture gives away the answer — a KFC Yum! Center. The home of concerts, (University of Louisville) Cardinals and NCAA tournament games (to the benefit of the University of Kentucky Wildcats) was built for $238 million.
Adjusting for inflation only would put Churchill’s investment further ahead of the arena since half of the Churchill spending predates the first spade of dirt being turned downtown.
In a story on WDRB.com that provides some perspective, Churchill spokesman John Asher was quoted: “Of all the remarkable times in the 142-year history of Churchill Downs, I would suggest the last 20 years have been the most exciting years.”
The investments by Churchill Downs Inc., to be sure, provide new profit opportunities (many are geared to premium customers), but the scope of the investment should be deserves recognition even by those who disagree with Churchill’s business-focus or long for it to be a horse racing company “like it used to be.”
List of Projects
2016-2018 – Second-Floor Clubhouse Renovations and Starting Gate Suites ($53 million)
2016 – Clubhouse Enhancements ($18 million)
2015 – Winner’s Circle Suites & Courtyard ($4.3 million)
2014 – Big Board & Enhanced Sound System ($13.9 million)
2014 – Grandstand Terrace & Rooftop Garden ($19.2 million)
2013 – The Mansion ($4.6 million)
2013 – The Parlay ($3 million)
2012 – Plaza & Plaza Balcony ($2.6 million)
2010 – Permanent Track Lighting ($3.8 million)
2005 – Clubhouse & Grandstand Renovation ($122.4 million)