BALTIMORE,MD 02-05-2009 ---- The Maryland Jockey Club today announced at a news conference in the Terrace Dining Room at Pimlico Race Course that it is redefining the Infield experience on Preakness day, May 16, 2009.Preakness InfieldFEST will feature a concert with three rock performances, including Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top and Grammy-nominated Buckcherry, along with a pro volleyball tournament and an interactive section prior to the running of the $1 million Preakness® Stakes (Grade I). A new Infield (including the Infield’s Top of the Stretch seating area) policy on alcohol and all beverages will be implemented for the 134th event, the middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown.
“The Preakness Stakes is the biggest single-day sporting event in the state with attendance figures exceeding 100,000 nine of the last 10 years, including eight straight,” said Maryland Jockey Club president and chief operating officer Tom Chuckas. “In 100 days, the best three-year-old horses will be in Baltimore and we feel it is time for our public Infield customers to enjoy a new way to party. In this year of change it is now time to transform the Preakness Infield experience.”
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, ZZ Top is considered by many to be the premiere party band on the planet. Formed in Houston in 1969, the band still features its original three members: guitarist Billy F Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard. The band’s catalog of iconic hits includes such songs as “La Grange,” “Tush”, “Sharp Dressed Man”, “Legs” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and reflects its Texas roots. Their hirsute look, as seen in a string of hit videos at the dawn of the MTV era, has made ZZ Top one of the world’s most instantly recognizable groups over the course of the past 40 hard rocking years.
Dubbed the Next Great American Rock Band, the Multi-Platinum, Grammy-nominated Buckcherry is touring in support of their fourth album, Black Butterfly, which was named iTunes Rock Album of the Year and has produced three multi-format hits including “Don’t Go Away” and “Rescue Me”. The band’s first Top 10 single, “Sorry”, hit the Hot 100 Billboard chart in 2008. The Los Angeles-based band is currently co-headlining a North American arena tour with Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach and Saving Abel.
A third band will be added to the lineup at a later date.
“The Virgin Mobile Festival at Pimlico taught us there are new fans to be found,” added Chuckas. “So we tapped into our existing relationship with I.M.P. chairman and Virgin Mobile Festival producer Seth Hurwitz and he is delivering us two of rock’s most entertaining live acts in headliner ZZ Top and Grammy-nominated Buckcherry to play our first Preakness day concert. It has been a pleasure and honor to work on bringing a brand new Infield experience to our Preakness fans with such a legendary and respected figure in the music business as Seth." I.M.P.is producing the concert. Formed in 1980, I.M.P. is a Bethesda, MD. based concert promoter and event production company.
The Toyota Pro Beach East Volleyball Tour will kickoff its 2009 season on the Pimlico Infield with a special one day professional women’s beach volleyball doubles tournament from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some of the best “up & coming” women players in the country will be showcased with free seating around the court. Corrigan Sports, a Baltimore sports marketing company, will manage the event. Players from Florida to California will compete for the cash purse. The Toyota Pro Beach East Tour has been a showcase for rising professional beach volleyball players for 11 years. The tour has produced several AVP stars including three-time Player of the Year and Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser.
“Over 240 tons of sand will be brought in to construct an Olympic size court,” states Don Abramson, Tour Director.
The interactive area will be housed under a 40' x 80' tent. Within the area will be an authentic NASCAR vehicle that participants can sit in and drive a virtual test lap around an oval. Virtual Reality Pods will be linked so guests can play a game of paintball. Fans will also be able to play RockStar Guitar Hero where up to four people perform a song. All these activities will be viewed by guests via TV monitors. There will also be four oxygen bars available serving flavored O2. Each bar will be equipped with charge pods for phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and iPods.
Tickets for public Infield will remain $50 in advance and $60 on May 16. NO beverage of any kind (cans or bottles), including alcohol, soft drinks and water will be allowed to be brought into the public Infield. Sixteen ounce beers will be sold for $3.50. Coolers and backpacks, containing food, will be permitted in the Infield but coolers larger than 28"l x 15"w x 17"h will be prohibited. Beach blankets and suntan lotion, cellular phones, cameras (up to 35mm), camcorders, binoculars and lightweight plastic lawn chairs are also allowed in the Infield. Top of the Stretch seats will remain $110 with coolers limited to 12” x 12” or smaller.