If you haven’t already, now is the time to begin planning for The Belmont Stakes on June 9, 2018.
While most horse racing fans are focused on the fast approaching Preakness Stakes, there are still good premium seats and hospitality packages available for the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the coveted Triple Crown, and New York’s hometown derby. Of course, that will change fast should the winner of the Kentucky Derby go on to win the second leg of the crown at the Preakness Stakes on May 19.
The Triple Crown was won three years ago by American Pharaoh after a 37 year wait and for the first time attendance was limited to 90,000. This after the large crowd of the year before taxed services, staff and transportation. That year, California Chrome vied for the crown before 102, 000 plus spectators. The record for attendance is 120, 000, set in 2004 when Smarty Jones failed in his attempt to become the next Triple Crown champion.
Currently, many good options are still available including box seats and hospitality packages, as well as reserved stadium style seating in both the Clubhouse and preferred Grandstand. Note that all tickets include Friday’s racing as well.
The choice seats of any horse race are the box seats where the royalty of horse racing, including the owners, trainers and their families and friends watch the action. Interested parties must submit an application and go on a wait list. I can’t confirm NYRA policy, but other tracks reserve box seats for Industry insiders and their guests, releasing seats after the selection process has played out. Again, there may still be a chance to procure these coveted seats.
Assuming you are lucky enough to be selected, boxes seat 6 people and all six must be purchased. The price ranges from $450 to $495 per person and amenities like food and drink are not included. I’ve been informed that for larger parties, adjacent boxes seldom become available, so better to look into alternate hospitality packages.
Price for a Box that seats 6: $2970 plus all amenities.
Your next option are the hospitality packages being offered for the Belmont Stakes. These options are for parties of from 2 to 20 or more and include Friday and Saturday access, food, drink and entertainment.
The champagne Room is located on the first floor of the track, just past the finish line and near the Clubhouse Turn. Here you have tables for 2, 4 or greater, many with a view of the track, but all with access to the trackside apron, where you can watch the race up close. Some options were are still available, but in rapidly diminishing numbers. The Champagne Room includes a premium open bar, a climate controlled interior and elegant table seating. A jazz band will also play between races. The cost is $500 to $550 per person, depending on location, but wouldn’t include tips or parking. Of course, for wagering, you are on your own.
For comparison purposes, to host a party of 6: $3300 plus tip and parking.
Another hospitality option is the Garden Terrace, located on level four, directly over the box seats with a view of the finish line and the entire track. The Garden Terrace also includes food, drink and entertainment, but the open bar is beer, wine and soda only. There is no outside access. Currently you must purchase a full table, with only a few tables of 6 still available. (Also available, tables for 8, 10 or 12.) Prices are $625.00 per person.
Table of six: $3750 plus tips, parking and fees.
Your next option is to purchase reserved seating and hang with the crowd. A perfectly acceptable and some would argue, a more fun way to spend the day. I always recommend the Clubhouse over the grandstand, if only to thin the crowd at the betting windows and food service areas. Also, a dress code is enforced in the clubhouse and this makes for a more elegant experience.
If we consider the Box seats to be the best seats in the house, than it stands to reason that those seats nearest this location are the second best. The box seats occupy what would be sections 2F thru 2M, if they followed the same numbering system as the rest of the track, which they don’t. Regardless that makes sections 3F thru 3M, just one level above, the next best alternative. Unfortunately, sections 3I thru 3Mare mostly sold out. However, section 3O along the stretch, is available with 21 seats left for $250.00 each, and 3F and G, just past the finish line, are also available. Seats here are priced at $215. Another good option is section 2O, with over 50 seats available at just $275. Again, as interest peaks with the upcoming Preakness, I don’t expect these seats to last. (All prices and availability as of press time.)
Cost for a party of 6: $1050 to $1650, plus amenities.
Yet one last option is still on the table. If you are the sort who likes to leave the details to a professional, Quint Events is the official package provider for the Belmont Stakes. Their packages would be similar to the above mentioned hospitality areas, but can also include transportation, lodging and celebrity meet and greets, among other benefits. For more information on Quint Events hospitality at the Belmont Stakes, please contact them directly.
For Box Seats and Hospitality contact:
Karol Rubiano, Box Seats Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Reserved Seating, call the NYRA box office at:
Tickets are also available at: Ticketmaster Belmont Stakes Tickets