This year the Kentucky Derby overlapped with Cinco de Mayo, which, if you like to celebrate the Derby like myself, presented some social issues. One could not simply kick back with a Mint Julep this year. There were droves of partiers partying the wrong party. Shooting tequila and slugging margaritas with udder disregard for the more important events of the day, and just as uncertain about what Cinco de Mayo is.

But I digress with a hyperbolic rant. The real story was just how high the demand was for Kentucky Derby Tickets. This is the first year we analyzed tickets to the Derby and I was personally pretty surprised by the results which you can check out below. Congrats to the winning horse I’ll Have Another.

2012 Kentucky Derby Ticket Prices

  • Tickets for the 2012 Kentucky Derby in Louisville last weekend were extremely hot this year: they went for an average price of $446 on secondary markets.
  • That means these tickets are only about $35 less than than the average price for an all session ticket to see Kentucky and Louisville play in the 2012 NCAA Final Four.
  • One of the most interesting things we saw in examining secondary ticket market prices for the Kentucky Derby was the premium that fans paid in order to sit near the finish line.
  • We looked at average prices for tickets at Churchill Downs on a section-by-section basis and found that the average grandstand seat between the 3/16th pole and the 1/8th pole cost $479 on average.
  • As you shift to seats from the 1/8th pole to the 1/16th pole, the average price goes up to $515. Moving to seats from the 1/16th pole to the finish line, average prices skyrocket to $1,044.
  • The highest price premium, however, goes for seats past the finish line, as those are selling for $1,250 on secondary markets.
  • The Kentucky Derby’s average ticket price made it one of the most in-demand events across the country this month.
  • Right now, the Derby is the 4th most expensive event in May of any kind.
  • It ranks behind only the Mayweather-Cotto boxing match from Friday ($816) and a pair of concerts by boy band sensation One Direction at NYC’s Beacon Theatre on May 26 ($573 and $533).
  • Since the beginning of the year, only 23 events have been more expensive than the Kentucky Derby. For context as to some of the top events on that list, Super Bowl XLVI is number one with an average ticket price of $2991.
  • Sandwiching the Kentucky Derby in terms of the most expensive tickets of 2012 so far are the NCAA Tournament strip at the Rose Garden in Portland ($452) and the Maryland vs. Duke game at Cameron Indoor Stadium ($438).
  • Out of Louisville’s top attractions over the past year, the 2012 Kentucky Derby is most expensive. Only the 2012 NCAA Tournament games in Louisville come close. The all-session ticket for those games cost $420 on average.
  • All of SeatGeek’s listings for the Kentucky Derby can be found here.

Kentucky Derby Tickets 2013

We will list the tickets here as soon as they go on-sale.