Get those mint juleps, big hats, and betting cards ready for the fastest two minutes in sports: The 139th Kentucky Derby.
But in this post-Boston-Marathon world, the friendly ticket collectors are gone and now replaced by metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs. If you are planning on attending this year’s Derby make sure to leave your coolers, camcorders, cameras, umbrellas, and big backpacks at home–they may be confiscated before you’re allowed to enter Churchill Downs. “I know that everybody that comes to the Downs, Churchill Downs, in Louisville is going to have to get here as early as possible because it’s going to be a little bit awkward getting through these gates,” NBC Sports Bob Neumeier said. “But they are still expecting a huge crowd and why not: this is one of the great sports events in the world.”
The new security restrictions are not limited to just the Kentucky Derby. “There is no doubt that our lives have changed,” Neumeier said. “But I think its incumbent upon Churchill Downs, the NFL, the NBA, Major League Baseball to take the appropriate steps without scaring people, without making them say ‘I don’t really want to go to a ball game because I’m afraid of what will happen.’ We got to avoid that as best we can.”
Sports is one way to return to some sort of normalcy. “Live your life!” Neumeier said. “That’s what we should be doing!”