For the first time ever, the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation will allow longtime patrons and newcomers alike to purchase significantly discounted tickets for the 2017 Iroquois Steeplechase, to be held on Saturday, May 13 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. The sale, which will run from Black Friday, Nov. 25 through Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, will offer three types of tickets at a reduced rate for five days only, and quantities of certain tickets are limited.
Libby Cheek, Executive Director for the Iroquois Steeplechase, says the nonprofit elected to run this sale as a way to give back to the Nashville community and to support the organization’s efforts to promote the sport of Steeplechasing. Proceeds from the event have generated more than $10 million for beneficiaries including Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
“Though it is a one-day event, the Iroquois Steeplechase works year-round to support Children’s Hospital and other organizations in various ways, and our ticket sales are a huge part of that,” Cheek said. “That’s why we want to continue the sale through Giving Tuesday -- an internationally recognized day dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations and events like ours -- in an effort to emphasize the cause and the contribution.”
Affectionately called “Nashville’s Rite of Spring since 1941,” the Iroquois Steeplechase attracts more than 25,000 spectators annually, a large number of whom arrive dressed to the nines to take part in the tailgating experience in the race grounds’ infield. The infield is divided into six areas -- Centerfield, Midfield, The Stretch, Topside, The Turn and The Meadows -- and each 13’ x 18’ tailgating space (with the exception of The Meadows, where spaces are 20’ x 27’) includes armbands for eight people and two parking passes. During the post-Thanksgiving sale only, all tailgating spaces that were not sold last year will be $300 apiece -- half off of the regular price of $600.
A second ticket option that will be discounted as part of the sale is individual infield tickets, which enable racegoers to access all the infield’s tailgating areas without having to be part of a tailgating space. This option to purchase individual tickets was introduced in recent years to accommodate the influx of newcomers to the city who wanted to attend the race but were not able to get tickets without being invited by a tailgating space holder. Infield tickets are regularly sold for $85 apiece but will be marked down to $50 for the five-day sale.
Due to great popularity of several all-inclusive tents in other areas of the race grounds, the Iroquois Steeplechase will introduce a new social tent in the infield for 2017. Located in the middle of the infield, the Fox Den is an all-inclusive, add-on option for adult racegoers to enjoy food, beverages and entertainment from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and can be purchased by anyone who has bought a tailgating space or infield ticket and box holders. Tickets to the Fox Den will cost $75 apiece, but as a special presale offer to coincide with the announcement of the new area, they will be sold for $50 from Black Friday through Giving Tuesday.
Additionally, anyone who purchases a ticket to the Fox Den during the five-day sale can also purchase a parking space in Lot M, conveniently located near the infield, for $25.
“We have seen the demand for all-inclusive tents grow year after year, and we decided the infield deserved its own area for people to have food and drink without having to bring it in themselves,” Cheek said. “We have no doubt that the Fox Den will be the hub of the infield and expect it will be as popular an area as our other social tents are.”
Those who wish to to purchase tickets as a part of this special Black Friday - Giving Tuesday sale should visit www.iroquoissteeplechase.org/tickets. Maps of the grounds and more details about the various tailgating areas are also available online at www.iroquoissteeplechase.org