The fact that Saratoga Race Course is still covered in mountains of snow and ice isn’t helping me shake my nagging case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. But when I think hard about it, I know that just in a few short months, it’ll all have melted away, and in the place of that winter-weather dreck will be throngs of happy track-goers, wearing their finest and clutching tightly onto their Daily Racing Forms; placing exactas, trifectas and pick sixes; and adding to the growing din as horses jockey for the lead. The summer meet in Saratoga Springs is what this town is all about; it’s what we wait for every year; it makes winters like this one bearable.
A little bit of positive news to warm up this cold winter day for you? The New York Racing Association (NYRA) is putting its full-season ticket plans up for sale, beginning on Tuesday, March 20 at 10am. The full-season plans include admission and reserved seating for the 40-day season in the Grandstand or Clubhouse, and can be purchased online here.
Also part of the equation are the full-season plans for guests with a little bit more disposable income at their fingertips. These include plans for premium reserved seating; a limited number of dining tables; and 20 reserved bar seats in the newest section of the Race Course, the Stretch, which is located in the Grandstand at the top of the, well, stretch. (In other words, when Track Announcer Larry Collmus yells, “Down the stretch they come!,” those’ll be the best seats in the house.) It’s worth noting that to purchase Stretch plans, you’ll have to go through the NYRA box office, which can be reached at 1-844-NYRA-TIX; or you can also drop customer service a line at [email protected].
Seating in the Stretch is going fast, though, so make sure you jump on the bandwagon soon. “We are experiencing an unprecedented level of demand for the Stretch which has met with a tremendous response from racing fans,” said NYRA Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Lynn LaRocca in a statement. “All available boxes are reserved for the season and the remaining inventory is selling fast. Whether you prefer the Clubhouse, Grandstand or the Stretch, we have an option available for all racing fans and encourage them to reserve a seat for the season.”
The perks keep coming, too. If you buy into one of these plans, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the Saratoga Season Perks program, which provides track-goers with discounts at on- and off-track locations, including restaurants, shops and entertainment venues.
Other key dates for ticket sales: Weekly ticket plans go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, April 10; single-day ticket sales for the Stretch will be available on Tuesday, April 24; and tickets for the Clubhouse and Grandstand reserved seats will be available beginning on Thursday, May 3.
Not to be confused with the full-season plans, season passes—which include admission only for all 40 days, with no sweeteners—go on sale to the public on Tuesday, April 3.
If you need a refresher on when all the stakes races are being run—in order to plan your plan-buying—click here.