The event, which will be held Nov. 2 and 3 of that year, is considered the world’s most prestigious horse racing card, with some of the sport’s largest payouts. The races held over two days will have a total purse of more than $26 million and will be televised live by NBC Sports Group.
The announcement, just days before the iconic track’s hosts the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby, follows the investment of more than $67 million in the historic facility. As part of an on-going effort to enhance the customer experience, improvements were made to the Clubhouse, Winner’s Circle Suites, Grandstand Terrace & Rooftop Garden, The Mansion and the installation of the world’s largest 4,000 Ultra High Definition Board.
“No track has invested more in their facility than Churchill Downs,” said Breeders’ Cup President & CEO Craig Fravel. “And there is no other track in the country that knows how to put on a large event (like Churchill).”
It will be the ninth time the historic Louisville track has held the Breeders’ Cup, tying with Santa Anita when they will host for a ninth time this year. Churchill last played host to the Breeders’ Cup in 2011. It also has held the races in 1988, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2010 and 2011. It is expected to have an economic impact of more than $65 million, attracting 100,000 spectators with more than 60% from outside of Louisville.
Says Karen Williams, President & CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, “We have been working over the years with Breeders’ Cup and Churchill Downs to ensure the return of this prestigious international event. We are excited about 2018 and also working to entice the event’s return in future years.”
Mayor of Louisville Greg Fisher was on hand for the announcement adding that “Louisville will be quite an evolved city by 2018” featuring more than 5000 downtown hotel rooms including the new Omni Louisville and the city’s vibrant and expanding culinary and bourbon experiences.
Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery expressed his delight that the Breeders’ Cup is returning to Churchill Downs and added “there is nothing quite like the Breeders’ Cup under the spires”. More information can be found at and .