Kentucky Derby tickets ride high despite shared spotlight

Despite competing against a plethora of sporting events next weekend, interest in the Kentucky Derby seems to be riding high.

Churchill Downs
Holly Hildreth | Getty Images
Churchill Downs

According to data from TiqIQ, secondary-market ticket prices for the race averaged $1,040.06, considerably higher than previous years. It also marked a reversal: The price for tickets had declined steadily form 2012 to 2014. (See graphic.)

Still, Chris Matcovich, TiqIQ's vice president of data and communications, told CNBC that ticket prices "should drop a bit as the event gets closer and people look to move more tickets. With that said, quantity [of available tickets] is far less than in years past, which is probably holding up prices a bit more than in years past."

Read MoreMayweather-Pacquiao tickets reach Super Bowl prices

The race will be held on Saturday ahead of a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao that is boxing's most highly anticipated bout in years. Other notable sporting events happening that weekend include the start of the second rounds of the NBA and NHL playoffs, a three-game series between the Boston Red Sox and the New Yankees, as well as the NFL Draft.

Bets ahead of race rise

Bets ahead of the race, which are usually low in volume, have actually risen because of the buzz surrounding the Mayweather/Pacquiao bout, not suffered from it, said Lamarr Mitchell, director of race and sports book at MGM Grand.

"We were actually overwhelmed by the amount of race activity in the week-prior period because it's usually pretty slow," he told CNBC.

Mitchell said he was unable to disclose specific figures pertinent to the number of bets made on the race.