Sunday, April 01, 2007

Fasig Tipton leaving Maryland ???

Just when you think things in the Maryland horse industry can't get any worse......BANG now the state may lose the regional sales. Both the Baltimore, and Lexington Business Journals are reporting that Fasig Tipton may move its Mid Atlantic sales to another state. Fasig is mulling a move because the state fairgrounds doesn't have the space and facilities it needs to show horses during an auction. The company's lease with the fairgrounds ended in December 2005. Executives from both the fairgrounds and Fasig say they have been in talks for about 18 months to reach a new lease agreement. Howard M. Mosner Jr., president and general manager of the Maryland State Fair and Agriculture Society Inc., said Fasig has been operating its Timonium auctions on a "hand-shake" deal since the lease expired.
Fasig's rental arrangements in Timonium require the company to allocate 1 percent of its total sales to the State Fairgrounds, according to a 2006 economic impact analysis report from the Maryland Stadium Authority for a proposed new horse park. The auction house's mid-Atlantic sales from Timonium are said to be between $40 million and $50 million, according to the report and sources in the industry.
Now I may not be the brightest economist in the world, but the way I see it....They say the fairgrounds needs $2.5 million in improvements. The sales have and economic impact of $40 to $50 million annually.....This math makes sense. Baltimore County and the state should put up the cash.

Now on a personal level, I would hate to see the sales leave Timonium. I go every year to check out the horses, bloodstock agents, and spend a few hours in the sales pavilion. The auction house is way more exciting than a Wednesday card at Laurel. The May two year old in training sale is the week before and after Preakness, so all the big "Players" are in town. Last year I was able to chat it up with Nick Zito for a little while.

I really hope the sate and county don't blow this one. This would just be one more nail in the Maryland horse racing coffin.

1 comment:

Superfecta said...

We'd be happy to take them here in PA...the Devon Horse Show grounds seem ideal...

But seriously, I didn't realize that the Timonium lease was up or that it was all just a handshake deal that this point - that seems like poor planning all around.


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