TMS began working with Breeders’ Cup Limited in 2015, partnering with another transportation provider to plan and execute an off-site park-and-ride program for the general public at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
The prestigious two-day, 14-race event is the culmination of the annual horse racing season, and it is held at multiple tracks across the U.S., including Keeneland and Churchill Downs in Lexington, Kentucky in Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, California. TMS is now the official transportation provider and partner for the Breeders’ Cup.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Breeders’ Cup hosted between 50,000 to 75,000 attendees at venues in different markets. TMS was responsible for negotiating contracts with third-party partners and planning and executing a robust transportation program – including off-site park-and-ride programs, VIP transportation, and traffic control – that had to be customized to each venue.
Starting in 2020, the pandemic redefined the term “contingency plans” for the event. To meet constantly changing safety concerns and restrictions, TMS and Breeders’ Cup Limited had to work together to develop creative, flexible transportation solutions.
For example, in past years, TMS negotiated, staffed, and operated motorcoaches for VIPs, but many participants weren’t comfortable riding in shared buses in 2020. The client secured a partnership with Lexus to use a fleet of 100 luxury sedans instead of coaches, and TMS pivoted to support this new form of transportation, negotiating rates, scheduling drivers branding vehicles, and establishing health and cleaning protocols.
We really need to have valued partners that we trust 100% to be an extension of our organization, and that’s what TMS is. We know we can trust TMS team to understand our expectations, to show up, and to do the job. No matter what issue comes up, they’re ready to listen and tackle it. It’s hard to put a price tag on those relationships. Transportation is the first touchpoint and the last touchpoint for an event – whether it’s good or bad, people remember it.
– Amy Lasky, Director of Event Operations, Breeders’ Cup Limited