Racing & Wagering

Summer of Fun at Arlington: Tickets for All Events on Sale April 1

| Churchill Downs Communications | 03/22/2013 #

Get ready for 89 days of pure entertainment for the whole family planned for the 2013 season at Arlington International Racecourse featuring something for everyone – from fireworks to concerts to wine tastings, celebrity appearances and the chance to see some of the top Thoroughbreds from around the world competing at one of the world's top entertainment venues.

The centerpiece of this year's "Summer of Fun" at Arlington is Aug. 17 with the International Festival of Racing featuring the world renowned Arlington Million.

"Arlington is a premier entertainment venue and entertaining our customers is our mission." says Arlington general manager Tony Petrillo. "We are proud to bring world class Thoroughbred racing to Chicagoland, but we are also proud to offer a menu of fun for the whole family built around our great racing. We suggest our customers go to to check out our schedule and also purchase tickets early because of high demand."

This year's Fireworks Show – Chicagoland's biggest and best – is set for Thursday, July 4. We like to say that it is the "best fireworks show you'll ever see!" Find out for yourself. Purchase tickets early as this event is one most popular of the season.

Once again Arlington is proud to welcome back our partners for special days celebrating the history of the Chicago Bears, Chicago White Sox and Northwestern University. In 2013, the track will play host to the Chicago Cubs for the first "Chicago Cubs Day" at Arlington. All of these special events give the fans of these organizations a chance to have autograph sessions with sports stars and coaches as well as see trophies and memorabilia that are part of the history of these storied organizations.

The "Summer of Fun" at Arlington begins on Friday, May 3, with our Opening Weekend Party kicking off our season with a "welcome back" to our customers with free general admission and a food and drink special.

On Saturday, May 4 it's the "Run for the Roses" and Chicagoland's Biggest and Best Kentucky Derby Party. There is a special 12:15 post time for Arlington races leading up the "most exciting two minutes in sports."

The time leading up to the Derby will be filled with Mint Juleps, music, prizes and contests. It's a chance to party in the exclusive "Derby Party Zone" where guests can walk the red carpet with fabulous food and drink in one all-inclusive package. It's like going to the Kentucky Derby without leaving Chicago!

There will also be a chance for a lucky customer to win BIG with the "Grand Ultimate Derby Bet" which gives a fan a chance to make a $1,000 win bet on the Kentucky Derby, presented by Yum! Brands.

Tickets go on sale on April 1 for the entire Arlington International season including all of Arlington's Big Event Days. Fans are encouraged to go online for Big Event Days tickets early because of high demand.

Other big event days include Mother's Day on Sunday, May 12, and Father's Day on Sunday, June 16. Each of these popular days will feature family-friendly events as well as special brunch packages being offered in the Million Room and International Room for those looking for an upscale day at the races. Reservations are required for the brunch events and can be made beginning April 1 online or by calling 847-870-RACE.

The kick off to summer begins Memorial Day weekend, with the start of the Miller Lite Party in the Park on Fridays, the Miller Lite Saturday Summer Bash, and Sunday Family Days.

Other entertainment highlights this season include two Binny's Taste at the Track events (June 1 and Sept. 7), and events for Guys Day Out (July 20) and Girls Day Out (July 27).

The Arlington season starts Friday, May 3 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 29, with racing four days a week. In May and June, the track will operate on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day. Beginning July 1, the schedule will change to Thursday through Sunday (plus Labor Day - Monday, Sept. 2) for the rest of the season.

General admission to Arlington International remains $8 for adults most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with special $6 Value Day general admission offered on Wednesdays in May and June and Thursdays from July 11 through the end of the season. General admission for children ages 4-17 will be $2 every day.

In addition, the popular Seniors Day promotion returns for the 2012 season. Each Wednesday in May and June and each Thursday from July 11 through the end if the meet, guests aged 55 and older can purchase general admission for just $4. Members of the Military with Military-issued ID can also enter the track for $4 on these dates.

General admission to Arlington International for Million Day is $20. Additional upgrade options are available online.

General admission for other Kentucky Derby Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day is $12 and $15 for our "Racing, Music and Fireworks extravaganza on July 4. Packages combining general admission with a reserved seat for each of these premium days range from $12-$20, available online.

General admission to Arlington includes access to the Paddock area for an up-close view to see the horses saddled prior to each race, access to the Apron area along the rail for a thrilling view of the horses as they thunder down the homestretch and access to the Park and picnic grove areas where there will be a $5 charge for bringing in outside food and beverage.

"Arlington remains one of the few venues that allows its customers to bring in coolers and outside food and beverage," Petrillo said. "In our effort to keep Arlington a truly affordable entertainment value for the entire family there is a small charge of only $5 for coolers and food and beverage allowed to be carried in."

Those people looking to purchase tickets for multiple days might wish to consider joining the Arlington Preferred Club or Arlington Preferred Club Plus. For $50, the card holder would receive four complimentary general admission tickets to Arlington (excluding premium days), two children's passes, two daily racing guides plus two coupons good for 25% off a single item in the gift shop and 50% off whenever they make a Canopy Table reservation (excluding premium days).

Arlington Preferred Club plus members get a season-long General Admission pass, eight children admission passes, early entry into Arlington (11 a.m.), 10% of a "Day at the races" group event, the gift shop discount and Canopy Table discounted reservation as above plus a 60-quart cooler on wheels that measures 20" x 18.5" x 20.69" which can be used to bring in allowed outside food and beverage without incurring the $5 fee.

The cooler alone can be purchased for $80 by e-mailing for details.

Tickets for all 89 days of the 2013 season and memberships for the Arlington Preferred Club and Preferred Club Plus go on sale on April 1. For a complete rundown of admission prices and available packages, visit our website at

Arlington International Racecourse at a Glance
89 Days of Racing (Friday, May 3 through Sunday, Sept. 29)

Racing schedule:

  • May-June: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • July-September: Thursday through Sunday
  • Holiday racing Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day) and Monday, Sept. 2 (Labor Day)


Post times

  • 1 p.m. – Wed./Thur., Saturday, Sunday and holidays
  • 3 p.m. – Friday through August 30 (2 p.m. – Fridays in September)
  • 12:15 p.m. – Saturday, May 4 (Kentucky Derby) 12:15 p.m. – Saturday, Aug. 17 (Arlington Million Day)
  • 3 p.m. – Thursday, July 4 (Racing, Music and Fireworks)

Key Event Days:

  • Friday, May 3: Opening Day celebration with free general admission
  • Saturday, May 4: Chicagoland's Largest Kentucky Derby Party
  • Sunday, May 12: Mother's Day at Arlington
  • Monday, May 27: Memorial Day – Special Monday Live Racing/Special Holiday Family Day
  • Sunday, June 16: Father's Day
  • Thursday, July 4: Racing, Music and Fireworks Extravaganza
  • Saturday, Aug. 17: Arlington Million
  • Monday, Sept. 2: Labor Day – Special Monday Live Racing/Special Holiday Family Day

Click here for a link to our entire promotional calendar