TICKETS ON SALE FOR THE 2015 BELMONT STAKES RACING FESTIVAL STARTING MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23

Guests encouraged to visit BelmontStakes.com, and to purchase tickets
in advance through Ticketmaster or the NYRA Box Office

ELMONT, N.Y. – Tickets for the newly re-designed Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, featuring more music, more food and more fun than ever before, will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 23, the New York Racing Association announced today. All reserved seating, premium dining options and admission to the grounds will be available for purchase through Ticketmaster.com.

“For the first time, the New York Racing Association will be expanding Belmont Stakes Day into a multi-day racing festival to kick off the summer season for all New Yorkers,” said Christopher Kay, Chief Executive Officer and President.  “We are also enhancing our hospitality and entertainment options, and taking additional steps to provide a first-class experience for all of our guests throughout this exciting, three-day event.”

The centerpiece of the Festival will be the 147th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, the oldest and longest leg of racing’s Triple Crown. This year, the “Test of the Champion” will be supported by a trio of stakes-laden cards worth $10 million.

Kicking off the 2015 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival on Thursday, June 4 will be the $150,000, seven-furlong Intercontinental for turf fillies and mares.  The first day of the Festival will also include the 104th running of the 5 ½-furlong Astoria for 2-year-old fillies, with a purse of $250,000.

On Friday, June 5, the Festival moves into high gear with five stakes races and $1.2 million in purses including:

  • The Grade 2, $300,000 New York for turf fillies and mares, going 1 ¼ miles;
  • The Grade 2, $250,000 True North for 4-year-olds and up, going six furlongs;
  • The $250,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational for 4-year-olds and up at two miles on the turf;
  • The $150,000 Jersey Girl for 3-year-old filly sprinters, going six furlongs;
  • The $250,000 Tremont for juveniles, going 5 ½ furlongs.

On Saturday, June 6, the Festival heads down the stretch with a blockbuster card featuring the Belmont Stakes and nine additional stakes races, worth more than $8 million in purses:

  • The Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes, going 1 ½ miles;
  • The Grade 1, $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap, going one mile;
  • The Grade 1, $1 million Manhattan, going 1 ¼ miles on the turf;
  • The Grade 1, $1 million Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up, going 1 1/16 miles;
  • The Grade 1, $750,000 Acorn for 3-year-old fillies, going one mile;
  • The Grade 1, $700,000 Longines Just a Game for turf fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up, going one mile;
  • The Grade 2, $500,000 Woody Stephens for 3-year-olds, going seven furlongs;
  • The Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational for 4-year-olds and up, going 1 ½ miles;
  • The Grade 3, $300,000 Jaipur Invitational for turf sprinters 4-years-old and up, going six furlongs on the turf;
  • The $150,000, Easy Goer for sophomores, going 1 1/16-miles.

“The Belmont Stakes Festival will encompass 31 races, including 17 stakes and 14 allowance-level races,” said Martin Panza, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations for the New York Racing Association. “It will offer an unparalleled level of top-quality racing for our guests at Belmont Park as well as our fans throughout the country and the world.”

In addition to delivering a day of great racing, the New York Racing Association has worked for the past seven months to design and build a more exciting experience for our guests at Belmont Park.

All guests purchasing general admission, Grandstand reserved seating or a premium Clubhouse package will experience an exciting, expanded outdoor program lineup on Friday and Saturday, featuring a military salute as well as local, national and internationally acclaimed performers.

A featured, top-tier band will also perform in a special concert for all Belmont guests immediately following the conclusion of Saturday’s final race.  The featured musical performance and the full entertainment lineup for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival will be announced in the near future.

Additionally, the New York Racing Association has developed major enhancements for guests within in the Backyard and Grandstand areas:

  • Cellular capacity will be tripled across the Belmont property, with wireless providers Verizon and AT&T adding three new towers.
  • Wi-Fi capacity across the Belmont property will grow by 75 percent, with additional access points offering added convenience for customers using tablets and smartphones.
  • Mutuel bays will also be added to the Backyard, providing additional wagering access for Belmont guests.
  • Entry turnstiles will be removed at Belmont, with a new ticketing system providing for the electronic scanning of all entry tickets.  This will provide greater convenience, while improving pedestrian flow.
  • Two new food truck festival areas in the Backyard and near the Top of the Stretch will feature more than 30 of the most popular New York-area trucks.

“For the most serious horseplayers to the most casual fan, we are taking the steps to offer an unparalleled experience for all of our guests.  To guarantee their place at this exciting event kicking off the summer season, we encourage fans to visit BelmontStakes.com, and to purchase their tickets in advance,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Lynn LaRocca.

Centerplate, Belmont’s hospitality provider, will also be making significant enhancements for the 2015 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.  In comparison to 2014, Centerplate will be adding:

  • New points of sale for food, beverage and retail merchandise throughout Belmont, an increase of over 30 percent;
  • Additional hawkers selling beer and water, an increase of 250 percent;
  • Additional managers, supervisors and wait staff, an increase of over 60 percent.

Additionally:

  • Centerplate will be featuring more trackside classics across more than 100 locations within the Clubhouse, Grandstand and the Backyard, as well as bottled water across all of the property’s access points.
  • Signature specialties, such as the Belmont Jewel and exclusive Stakes merchandise will be available in more locations, and several dedicated TasteNY destinations have been added to serve IPAs and other styles of craft beer from around New York State.
  • For premium ticketholders, menu enhancements will include hand-carved sandwiches and artisanal flatbread pizzas in the Heritage Club.

“We are really looking forward to the Stakes race this year, and have taken the opportunity to make enhancements in the off-season to expand and enhance our offerings across the park,” said Drew Revella, Centerplate General Manager. “The Belmont Stakes is one of America’s iconic events, and we are excited to welcome guests to a one-of-a-kind experience on Stakes Day.

Public transportation access to Belmont Park will also be enhanced through $5 million in combined investment by the New York Racing Association and the Long Island Rail Road.  This will result in a fully refurbished transit rotunda on the west end of the Grandstand, as well as new rail station platforms, which will increase Belmont Station train capacity from eight to 10 cars.

“The LIRR is on schedule with construction of new, modernized station platforms and operational changes that will double the number of trains that can run to the track on Belmont Stakes day and increase train capacity from eight to 10 cars,” said Long Island Rail Road President Patrick A. Nowakowski. “We look forward to significant service improvements for customers riding to and from this great event.”

Following the success of the 2014 Belmont Stakes, which saw every seat in the grandstand and every table in the dining areas sold out by the Friday prior to the Preakness, all fans are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance.

Admission and seating costs for Belmont Stakes Day will remain on-par with local professional sports teams, and below comparable national thoroughbred championship events.  A modest increase in general admission from $10 to $15 reflects the first general admission increase since 2005; a period of 10 years.

General admission tickets for 2015 will include the featured, post-race Belmont Stakes Day concert and provide easy access to the new food truck service areas, as well as all other entertainment within the Belmont Backyard.

Returning for the second year will be the wildly popular Champagne Room, offering the finest in gourmet dining, an open bar, day-long entertainment and exclusive, private access to the clubhouse apron.

Guests will be able to purchase bundled Clubhouse seating and hospitality packages for Friday and Saturday’s championship racing, providing greater excitement and value than ever before.  All guests purchasing a reserved seat for Belmont Stakes Day will also receive complimentary general admission for July’s Stars & Stripes Racing Festival, featuring internationally themed championship turf racing.

Reserved seats within the Grandstand, which includes the cost of admission, start at $30.  All Clubhouse seats on the second and third floors are bundled for Friday and Saturday, and begin at $115.   Please visit BelmontStakes.com for further details.

About The New York Racing Association

Founded in 1955 and franchised to run thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course through 2033, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) is a not-for-profit, non-dividend paying corporation governed by a Board of Directors, whose members receive no compensation or dividends.  The host of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s “Triple Crown”, NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of New York’s thoroughbred business; a sport industry segment which provides approximately 17,000 jobs and contributes more than $2 billion annually to New York State’s urban, suburban and rural economy.