$15,000 a Ticket? Why Kentucky Derby Prices Are Racing Higher
Business + Economy

$15,000 a Ticket? Why Kentucky Derby Prices Are Racing Higher

The prices for coveted Kentucky Derby tickets are going up again this year, but there are many options to get into Saturday's run for the roses. The range is $80 all the way up to $15,000.

According to SeatGeek, the average ticket price rose 42 percent from five years ago and 7 percent from last year.

Related: Kentucky Derby 2016: A Guide to the Horses, Money and Crazy Hats

General admission tickets to Churchill Downs on Derby Day are the cheapest, and they'll run you $80. You don't get a seat, and there is no guarantee you'll actually see a horse. The ticket gets you in the gate and can be purchased on the day of the event. You can access the paddock, the infamous infield and more than enough betting windows.

Box seats vary greatly in amenities and price. The cheapest box seats farthest from the finish line are going for about $363 on the secondary market. There are two types of box seats: grandstand and clubhouse. Clubhouse seats give ticket holders access to less-crowded betting windows, restrooms with shorter lines and often a better view of the track. You can get access to the clubhouse level with no seat called a "walk around pass" for about $830 on Ticketmaster. Clubhouse box seats are topping out at about $3,200 on various ticket sites.

Grandstand box seats are less expensive. They're currently ranging from about $350 to $1,100.

Those more familiar with NFL or MLB games than horse races might be surprised at what a "box" is at the horse track. It is not the plush indoor buffet with a recliner chair and your own television. A box in the clubhouse level means there are four to six metal folding chairs blocked out by dividers. A box in the grandstand level means you're sitting on a bleacher. They are all outside and some are not under cover. But you can see the greatest two minutes in sports from every single one.

Related: 8 ‘Other’ Bourbon Drinks for the Kentucky Derby

Other premium seats are available beyond the boxes. A ticket to the Jockey Club Suite is going for $6,200 on SeatGeek. It's located above the finish line and comes with a handful of services like an open bar, self-service betting machines and food.

The top ticket is to the Mansion, on the sixth floor. Right now you can snag one for $14,300 on SeatGeek, down from the $15,000 face value. There are only about 320 originally available, by invitation only.

Mansion guests quickly bypass the masses, taking a private elevator to the 10,000-square-foot haven. Unlimited alcohol and food will be provided to ticket holders. James Beard Award-winning chef Virginia Willis will be on site preparing her Southern cuisine.

The gold standard in Derby tickets before the Mansion opened in 2013 was Millionaire's Row, which is still a hot ticket this year, going for $2,340 on SeatGeek and $2,659 on Ticketmaster.

For the ultra-luxury experience, many Derby goers are opting for private jets into Louisville. Sentient Jet reports the Derby was its top sporting event last year — bigger than the Super Bowl. The company has seen a 45 percent increase in Derby booking so far this year over 2016.

The early bird does not always get the worm when it comes to Derby tickets. SeatGeek reports 2016 prices dropped 50 percent over the two weeks leading up to the big event.

This article originally appeared on CNBC. Read more from CNBC:

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