Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby 2018 Primer: Dates, Tickets, Hotels & More

May 7, 2017, 11:19 a.m.
Event Track / Kentucky Derby / News & Rumors / Kentucky Derby 2018 Primer: Dates, Tickets, Hotels & More

The 2017 edition of the Kentucky Derby just finished but it's never too early to begin planning for Kentucky Derby 2018! This article is going to go over all the basic information you need to know in order to plan to be at the Kentucky Derby next year. We will go over when the Kentucky Derby is happening in 2018, tickets, booking accommodations, and more. The Kentucky Derby is big trip so the earlier you plan the better!

When Is the Kentucky Derby in 2018?

The official dates for the 2018 Kentucky Derby is May 5th, 2018. The Kentucky Derby is always the first Saturday of May, so this will be May 5th in 2018.

How do I get Kentucky Derby 2018 tickets?

First, we have a full article on Kentucky Derby tickets that explains everything with tickets in greater detail if you are interested. As you can imagine, Kentucky Derby tickets are a hot commodity. There are two main areas of tikets for the Kentucky Derby: infield and the stadium seating. The stadium seats are what you see on TV when you watch the derby: people in suits in the stands drinking mint juleps looking fancy. The other area of the Kentucky Derby is the infield area, which is essentially a frat party in the field inside the track. We have a full article on the Kentucky Derby infield I highly suggest you check out if you are interested in attending the Kentucky Derby in the infield.

I mention the two different tickets because this affects when you need to purchase passes. Infield tickets will be available up to the day of the Kentucky Derby - they won't sell out. The price will increase though as we get closer, so it is advantageous to purchase passes early. If you want stadium seating you need to sign up for the online sale. You essentially register an account and you will be notified when Kentucky Derby tickets are on sale.

When Will Kentucky Derby 2018 tickets go on sale?

This varies a bit year to year, but for the 2017 Kentucky Derby tickets went on sale on November 17th, 2016. Tickets for the Kentucky Derby typically go on sale in mid-November, so look for tickets around this date. As I mentioned, infield passes will be available until the day of the Kentucky Derby, but stadium seating will go quickly.

How much are Kentucky Derby tickets?

Prices for the Kentucky Derby can vary year to year, but here are the prices for the 2017 running of the Kentucky Derby

Infield prices for the 2017 Kentucky Derby:

  • $60 if you purchase before December 31
  • $80 after December 31

Stadium seating for the Kentucky Derby:

  • $340-$500 for Individual Grandstand Bleacher Tickets
  • $422-$460 for Individual Grandstand Stadium Style Tickets
  • $2,499 - $6,000 for Box Seats (each box can hold 6 people)

What about booking a hotel / accommodations for the Kentucky Derby?

We have a full article on the best time to book a hotel for the Kentucky Derby located here. The short version is it doesn't matter: it's going to be expensive. The Kentucky Derby tickets are obviously expensive, but the hotel prices are really epensive. The graph below shows the average hotel price in Louisville, KY for each day of last year from August on.

As you can see, it's always expensive. Shameless plug: we track hotels in the Louisville, KY area for the dates of the Kentucky Derby. If you register with us we will send you automatic price updates if a hotel drops below a price you set. Essentially you tell us what hotels you are interested in, how much you want to pay per night, and if any of those hotels drop below the price you get an email letting you know. You can see all the hotels we track for the Kentucky Derby on our Kentucky Derby Hotels Page.


The Kentucky Derby is definitely a big bucket list item for many sports fans: it's fun whether you love racing or just the social aspect of the event. It's also a big commitment, so start planning early! The 2018 running of the Kentucky Derby will be here before you know it!

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