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Just Getting Into Derby Is More Expensive Than Ever Before

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It's not just you — it's a lot more expensive to get through the doors at Churchill Downs for the Oaks or Kentucky Derby than it used to be.

Though day-of general admission prices (which get you into the infield) remained steady for years, they've doubled since 2011. That year, $40 got you into the track for the Derby, and the Oaks was only $25.

But this year, general admission Derby tickets are $80. And the Oaks will run you $60 — a 58 percent markup.

Here are the numbers, including a set adjusted for inflation:

A few things to note:

These are day-of general admission prices. For the last several years, Churchill Downs has started offering steep discounts to people who plan ahead. For example, if you bought your Derby infield ticket before New Year's, you paid $60.

These are just the general admission tickets — the ones that get you into the infield. The privilege of having an actual seat at the Derby or Oaks will run you much more.

And despite these ballooning ticket prices, the Oaks and Derby are more popular than ever. The Oaks had an all-time record attendance of more than 124,000 people last year, while the Derby hit a high point in 2015 at more than 170,000.

A call and email to a Churchill Downs spokesman seeking comment wasn't returned.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.