SARATOGA SPRINGS — Tickets for the 2018 meet at Saratoga Race Course will cost the same or significantly more, depending whether they’re bought in advance.
The New York Racing Association said single-day admission will be $5 for grandstand and $8 for the clubhouse if purchased in advance. But they will cost $7 and $10, respectively, if purchased the day of attendance.
For the 2017 meet, tickets were $5 and $8 whether purchased in advance or at the gate.
Season passes for 2018 are unchanged at $40 for grandstand and $65 for clubhouse.
NYRA, in announcing the ticket prices for the 2018 meet, did not give a reason for the price increase or say why it was going to the two-tiered pricing.
Spokesman Pat McKenna did note, however, that NYRA has invested more than $30 million since 2013 for upgrades and historic preservation at the storied track, which is one of the premier venues for thoroughbred horse racing.
He also said the prices are comparable to other top horse-racing venues, are in line with other Capital Region sports venues and are substantially less expensive than at the stadiums that host major professional sports events.
This is the second increase in single-day admission prices in five years at Saratoga Race Course — prices at the gate will now be double what they were in 2013.
In 2014, NYRA raised grandstand tickets from $3 to $5 and clubhouse tickets from $5 to $8.
The prices of season tickets also have fluctuated in recent years. They increased from $30/$50 in 2014 to $35/$55 in 2015. They increased again to $40/$65 in 2017. But they were $35/$75 as recently as 2011.
The Union Avenue campus has been the site of horse racing since 1863. With the upgrades completed since 2013, the track now offers:
- More than 1,000 new high-definition televisions throughout the property;
- Some 950 picnic tables in the backyard;
- Six new high-definition video boards in the backyard;
- New high-definition infield video boards;
- Enhanced Wi-Fi and sound systems;
- New attractions such as the Saratoga Walk of Fame and the Saratoga Family Zone;
- Renovated upper and lower Carousel;
- Restored Paddock Mutuel Building
- Restored copper roofing on the Grandstand and Clubhouse;
- Construction of the Whitney Viewing Stand, to replicate the original structure at the Oklahoma Trailing Track.