Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has unveiled a groundbreaking partnership with Churchill Downs Racetrack and Sports Illustrated, marking an exclusive multi-year naming rights agreement for a new and exclusive dining experience at the prestigious Kentucky Derby.

Formerly recognized as the 1895 Club, the transformed dining venue will now be known as Club SI, a pivotal feature set to relaunch on the inaugural night of Derby Week, scheduled for May 4, 2024. This unveiling is a significant part of Churchill Downs’ $200 million renovation initiative, an endeavor undertaken in preparation for the grand 150th running of the historic Kentucky Derby.

Club SI, according to CDI, is poised to offer a ‘luxury equine-focused dining experience’ as well as views of the all-new Paddock and Paddock Runway.

Mike Anderson, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack, expressed excitement about the collaboration, asserting, “As we approach the 150th Kentucky Derby, we are thrilled to partner with a brand as iconic as Sports Illustrated to offer guests an enhanced way to enjoy this incredible anniversary event. Sports Illustrated shares our goal of combining exciting sports moments with upscale entertainment, and Club SI will provide the perfect space to achieve this.”

The interior of the Club SI restaurant will be embellished with iconic Sports Illustrated magazine covers and editorials chronicling past Kentucky Derby races, underscoring the rich heritage and narrative of both the Kentucky Derby and Sports Illustrated.

Michael Sherman, SVP Media Brands at Authentic Brands Group, the parent company of Sports Illustrated, declared, “It is an honour to bring Club SI to Churchill Downs Racetrack, which has such a rich history that we’ve showcased through the pages of Sports Illustrated for decades. Club SI will celebrate iconic elements of the brand while hosting celebrity talent and offering guests gourmet cuisine and cocktails, a unique vantage point of the new Paddock, and a once-in-a-lifetime horse racing experience for Derby 150.”

In anticipation of the landmark event, CDI also unveiled Derby City Gaming Downtown, a Kentucky Derby-themed gaming facility now open to the public, further enhancing the Derby experience for enthusiasts and visitors alike.

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