Derby by the numbers: From 1,000 pounds of mint to $192.6M in wagers

For an event that bills itself as the fastest two minutes in sports, an unbelievable amount of money, manpower and mint go into making the Kentucky Derby a success. IL has rounded up the numbers in an effort to quantify the fun — from track attendance and bets placed, to the overall economic impact and priciest Airbnb in town.

Information provided by Churchill Downs, unless otherwise noted.

At the Track

167,227 people attended Kentucky Derby 2016 — the second largest crowd to date (behind 2015, when 170,513 race fans gathered at Churchill Downs).

2,000 media credentials are issued annually.

$192.6 million was wagered on races at Churchill Downs on Derby Day 2016 — 1 percent below the previous year’s record.

$151.8 million was returned to bettors on last year’s Kentucky Derby Day. ($192.6M – $151.8M = $40.8 million … not too shabby, Churchill Downs.)

Nyquist was so favored to win that betting was down last year. | Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs

$124.7 million was wagered on the 2016 Kentucky Derby, down 10 percent from 2015’s record due to 2-1 “prohibitive favorite” Nyquist.

$10.7 million was paid out to horsemen from Derby Day 2016 purses.

$1.63 million was awarded to Derby winner Nyquist’s team.

127,000 mint juleps were sold on Oaks and Derby Day, requiring 10,000 bottles of Old Forester julep mix, 1,000 pounds of mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.

More than 1,000 back-of-house cooks and support staff serve up 163,000 hot dogs, 22,000 barbecue sandwiches, 12,000 pounds of potatoes and 49,000 Derby Pies.

554 roses are used in the garland of roses presented to the Derby winner.

500 volunteers help clean up 180 tons of trash after the Kentucky Derby.

Tourism and Travel

The Derby has an economic impact of more than $400 million locally, according to the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

340 percent is the up-charge people pay to stay in a Louisville hotel for one night on Derby weekend, according to hotel price comparison website HotelsCombined.

$4,408 is how much The Marriott Louisville Downtown is charging guests for a standard room. The Galt House Hotel is charging $3,374 for a room with a double bed or two singles, according to HotelsCombined.

Rooms at the Galt House are going for more than $3,000 over Derby weekend.

Only 18 percent of the houses, apartments and bedrooms listed on Airbnb for Derby weekend remained available for rent as of Monday afternoon.

$933 is the average price per night to rent a house on Airbnb in Louisville on Derby weekend (based on those still available).

$8,480 is the total price to rent a five-bedroom house in St. Matthews, the most expensive listing still available on Airbnb. You can also rent a seven-bedroom mansion near Cherokee Park for $6,360, a two-bedroom house in Parkway Village for $4,243, or two private rooms in an occupied house next to Churchill Downs for $2,833.

For something more affordable: One can still find an apartment with two beds in the heart of the Highlands for $815 total (Friday and Saturday), or a shared room in West Beuchel (one bed and an air mattress) for $289.

11,421 seats are booked on commercial flights out of Louisville International Airport the day after Derby this year, making it the third busiest in the past 10 years. The largest post-Derby departure Sunday was in 2011, with 11,605 seats.

Odds and Ends

Thunder Over Louisville kicks off the Derby Festival.

60 tons of firework shells are used each year at Thunder Over Louisville, North America’s largest annual pyrotechnics show, which kicks off Derby season.

There are 450 thoroughbred horse farms in Kentucky.

75 percent of all Derby winners have been bred in Kentucky.

900 hot browns are served during Derby week at the Brown Hotel, where the legendary dish was created in the 1920s.

Kern’s Kitchen makes 120,000 Derby pies a year. They make 25,000 a month during March and April.

A racehorse can go from 0 to 40 mph in three strides.


For a more artistic assessment of the Kentucky Derby by the numbers, check out WalletHub’s nifty new infographic:

Source: WalletHub