Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Future of New York Racing?

The New York Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Racing said today that Excelsior Racing Associates should be awarded the New York thoroughbred racing franchise. If approved by the new Governor and Legislature, this will end the 52 year run of the New York Racing Association as the franchise holder.

This comes as a surprise to me because it seemed that Empire Racing, a group that includes Churchill Downs, Magna Entertainment and many New York horse owners and breeders would win.

The Excelsior group includes George Steinbrenner's son-in-law Steve Swindal, casino developer Richard Fields and Tishman Speyer Properties. Their plans include putting video slot machines at tracks other than Saratoga and enhancing restaurant and other facilities at all three tracks. They will pay the State $100 million up front and $7.5 million a year for the 20 year franchise beginning January 1, 2008.

The recommendation is non-binding, so this is definitely not over yet. The elephant in the room that many are ignoring is the ownership of the racetracks and their related land. Perhaps the bankruptcy court handling the NYRA case now will be forced to decide on the ownership issue.

More to come. NYRA and Empire Racing are not going to give up until every dollar has been spent and every legal remedy has been exhausted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's say an electrician comes to your home to give you an estimate for some wiring work. His proposal is the best of three you received in terms of cost and planning but he is not as trustwrothy as one of the other electricians and he has never really done this kind of work and the others have.

Do you recommend to your family that you hire him?


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