Plan Improvements at Churchill Downs to Accommodate Crowd of 150,000: Expect to Handle 50,000 Patrons in Centerfield; Other Changes on Agenda, Daily Racing Form, 1946-06-13


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a : Plan Improvements at Churchill Downs To Accommodate Crowd of 150.000 » 1 1 : 1 t 5 [ 1 J | r j ■ 2 5 " 1 1 ? ] 1 ., e A :. r e d is s a a Expect to Handle 50,000 3 Patrons in Centerfield; Other Changes on Agenda LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 12.— With the dust about settled from the recent Churchill Downs meeting, Col. Matt J. Winn is back in the racing spotlight with the announce-• ment that he plans extensive improvements that will serve to accommodate a record 150,000 people, a forecast that would have been regarded as ridiculous just a few years ago, but which now becomes quite within the realm of possibility after his most recent edition of the 00,000 Kentucky Derby at-; tracted 103,000. Winn has been going over plans for im- provements and expansion for several weeks, but starting next Sunday, when he is due to arrive here with his architects and other track officials, he will set out in earnest to blue print his plans for increasing to 150,000 or more the capacity of Churchill Downs immediately materials become available. It is planned at present to add a large number of features to the Downs course, all designed for public comfort and easy access to every accommodation. During the recent session at the Downs when the totalisator made its first appearance at the Louisville plant, an adequate number of machines were not available due to war-time and post-war shortages, but he believes the "tote" people will be able to furnish the plant thoroughly and completely by next year. In anticipation of perhaps as many as 150,000 patrons on Derby Day, Winn is placing double emphasis on the centerfield, where at the earliest possible time he hopes to accommodate upwards of 50,000. One of the main improvements will be a tunnel or underpass located near the stretch turn, which will connect the centerfield and gen- eral enclosure sections. The present tunnel located at the middle of the long stretch became a snarled traffic jam last spring, and the new addition Is expected to relieve that situation. The program for terraces, increased drainage, betting windows and numerous rest rooms in the centerfield, can hardly be described without the aid of some sort of blue print, but he assures that it will be something both novel and practical among American tracks. It is designed to offer a good view of the race to all patrons. Improvements are to be made to the "stadium" section, which is located at the east end of the general enclosure, where additional cover and rest rooms are to be made. "Our new centerfield is going to be something to behold," Winn proudly explains. "It will have underground shelter for the greater part of our patrons, and there will be adequate betting booths, rest rooms, and whatever might add to an afternoons enjoyment at our track." After completing tentative plans here, Winn will go to New York to look after other of his racing interests and take a months vacation.

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