For a cool $100, fans attending Travers Day at Saratoga Race Course can avoid the pre-dawn dash for picnic tables in the backyard.
The New York Racing Association has allocated 130 of the 800 tables for reserved seating on Saturday, Aug. 23. The tables will go on sale today.
NYRA officials said they increased the number of tables that could be reserved from last year after adding an additional 200 to the backyard during the off-season. An additional 670 tables will be accessible at no cost but only on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Our Travers tables initiative is designed to add convenience for fans who would like to take advantage of the opportunity to reserve a coveted picnic table on the biggest day of the Saratoga season,” Lynn LaRocca, NYRA’s chief experience officer, said in a statement.
“At the same time, we will have a record number of open tables available for our guests. This year’s Travers is certain to be a highlight of the summer meet at Saratoga and will only be enhanced as a result of our off-season capital improvement program.”
NYRA added additional picnic tables as part of a $1.9 million capital investment at Saratoga. The reserved tables will be located in a section of the backyard adjacent to the paddock and Big Red Spring.
Tables are limited to a maximum of six people. Table price doesn’t include the cost of general admission.
NYRA is also barring any transfer or reselling of tables. No pop-up tents or additional chairs or tables will be permitted in the reserved area.
Guests will be able to pick up their registration packet containing six wristbands at the Reserved Seats Box Office at the track starting Aug. 20 and running through Travers Day. The packet must be picked up by the person who paid for the table. Photo identification will be required.
Reservations for Travers Day picnic tables can be made by phone at 844-NYRATIX; via email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or in person at the Reserved Seats Box Office.
The Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers was first run in 1864 and today is the oldest major stakes race in the country for 3-year-olds. Gates open at 7 a.m. on Travers Day with a special post time of 11:35 a.m.