Sold-Out Tickets For Those With Seats Only; Friday Night Concert Series Also Canceled At DMTC
Officials at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (DMTC) have limited capacity for opening day to 15,000. All those going to what PubClub.com calls “the Kentucky Derby of the West Coast” must have seats and all those tickets are sold out, meaning the usual tens of thousands of other people won’t be able to attend this year.
Only those with with grandstand, clubhouse, Turf Club, Skyrooms, luxury and celebrity suites tickets are allowed as the historic horse racing track opens it summer season on Friday, July 16.
“It’s a shame that we can’t accommodate everybody that wants to come, but (those) that do come on opening day, they’re gonna have a great time,” said Craig Dado, DMTC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.
In a further punch to the traditional Del Mar partiers’ gut, Dado – who is not a fun-killer by any means – said there will not be concerts after the Friday events this year, either.
On the positive side, one tradition will continue, the derby hat contest. Ladies who wear hats they want to show off can parade around the Plaza de Mexico from Noon-3 p.m. The track is giving away more than $4,000 in prizes in four categories: best racing theme, most glamorous, best fascinator and best flowers. The grand prize is two tickets to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar, which track officials is worth $1,000.
But so much for all those last-minute party people who make Del Mar Opening Day such a big San Diego party attraction. Many take the train from around the area and ride a double-decker bus from the Solano Beach station into the track.
In the recent past, Del Mar’s PR staff would brag to the media about attendance figures which seemed to increase every year leading into last year’s pandemic, topping out at nearly 55,000 people.
It was scene that was true San Diego: well-dressed ladies in sun dresses and Derby hats catching the attention of well-dressed men in those Charlie Harper bowling shirts, all looking to meet, mingle and party.
Alas, that’s all a memory for now. But there’s always next year.