By   – Reporter, Louisville Business First

Derby City Gaming will be getting an upgrade later this year.

The 85,000-square-foot historical race wagering complex on Poplar Level Road in Louisville is now the subject of a $13.5 million expansion to add a new outdoor smoking patio on the south side of the facility.

The price tag of the project was revealed earlier this week when the facility’s owner, Churchill Downs Inc., presented at the Jefferies Global Consumer Conference.

The expansion should be done by the early fourth quarter of 2020, according to the presentation. 

“Derby City Gaming is adding a second smoking patio that will be able to hold up to 250 historical racing machines,” CDI said in an emailed statement to Louisville Business First. “This will add a new environment and experience for those players that enjoy smoking while playing.”

Historical racing machines are used in historical race wagering and are slot-like machines that have results based on previously run horse races. These are legal in Kentucky, unlike slots.

CDI said in its presentation that the patio will result in a net addition of 195 historical racing machines to the facility and will complement the current smoking patio on the north side of the complex.

Plans recently filed with Louisville Metro Government shows the patio will add an additional 8,150 square feet to the facility. CDI is working with Vision Engineering LLC on the plan.

The $65 million Derby City Gaming opened in Sept. 2018 and is already equipped with more than 1,000 historical racing machines. The gaming venue was constructed on Churchill Downs’ former Trackside operation on Poplar Level Road.

Derby City Gaming was one of several CDI venues that closed in March in response to the coronavirus outbreak. It reopened on June 8 after Gov. Andy Beshear lifted restrictions on this type of venue.

reported earlier this month that Churchill Downs entered a purchase agreement to acquire new historical racing machines for several of its Kentucky gaming facilities. The Louisville-based horse racing, casino and gaming company said it will purchase 1,250 of the machines from International Game Technology PLC, also known as IGT.