Making money moves: 2022 Breeders’ Cup brings $81.8 million to Lexington

We’re taking a deeper dive into the big numbers from our weekend hosting the world championship of horse racing.

Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Drew Fleming speaking on a stage downtown Lexington, KY

Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Drew Fleming. | Photo by Amy Wallot, LFUCG

Amy Wallot/LFUCG

Table of Contents

The numbers are in. The 2022 Breeders’ Cup last November brought in an $81.8 million economic impact to Lexington — the second highest in the horse racing World Championship’s 39-year history. The numbers come from a study conducted by University of Louisville economics professor Dr. Thomas E. Lambert.

Follow along as we take a deeper dive into this record-setting weekend in Lexington.

Fast facts

The Breeders’ Cup World Championship races were held at Keeneland on Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5. The week leading up to it hosted a slew of events, known as the Breeders’ Cup Festival, including charity luncheons, bourbon tastings, and nightly live music.


  • 18 — The number of countries represented by Breeders’ Cup ticket purchases.
  • 50 — The number of states represented by Breeders’ Cup ticket purchases.
  • $900,000 — The amount secured in state and local tax revenues.
  • $30.5 million — The amount of money brought in at the track through wagering, concessions, parking, merchandise, and more. Fun fact: There were an additional 248 employees during the festivities, bringing the total payroll to over $7.7 million.
  • $33.6 million — The amount spent around town including hotels, retailers, food and drink, transportation, and off-track entertainment.
  • $17.5 million — The amount brought in through Keeneland upgrades, which included $10 million in track improvements + $7.5 million in labor and material costs.
  • $189.1 million — The new record for global wagering the Breeders’ Cup set this year, 3.4% higher than the previous record set in 2021.
  • $122.9 million — The new individual day wagering record for the Championship Saturday racing program.