NYRA secures approval to construct a new Belmont Park5th May 2023 9:24 am GMT
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has secured approval from the New York State Senate and Assembly to build new thoroughbred racing facilities at Belmont Park.
New York State’s recently approved FY 2024 budget includes legislation authorizing the NYRA to utilize a $455 million loan to embark on the biggest racetrack construction project to take place at Belmont Park.
The centerpiece of the re-imagined Belmont Park will be a new building that will completely replace the existing grandstand and clubhouse, to reflect the evolution of thoroughbred racing and wagering since Belmont was last renovated in 1968.
“The transformation of Belmont Park will secure the future of thoroughbred racing in New York State, create thousands of good jobs and drive tourism to Long Island and the region for decades to come,” said NYRA president and CEO David O’Rourke. “We thank Gov. Hochul and our legislative leaders for recognizing the importance of this project to the countless New York families and small businesses reliant on a strong horse racing economy.”
The NYRA also commended Senator Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow for their collective efforts to advance the project as chairs of the Senate and Assembly Committees on Racing, Wagering and Gaming.
“NYRA is committed to building a world-class venue that honors the history and traditions of this iconic property within a modernized overall facility,” added O’Rourke. “We will deliver a revitalized Belmont Park that will reclaim its place as a global capital of thoroughbred horse racing.”
The multi-year project is estimated to generate $1 billion in construction-related economic impact and create 3,700 construction-related jobs.
Upon completion of the project, additional racing and non-racing activities at the new Belmont Park will generate $155 million in annual economic output, support 740 new full-time jobs, and produce $10 million in new state and local tax revenue per year.
It will guarantee the return of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to New York after a lengthy absence.
In November, the Breeders’ Cup announced its commitment to add Belmont to the rotation of host venues following NYRA’s modernization of the facility.
The 2022 Breeders' Cup World Championships, which were conducted at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, generated record breaking all-sources wagering handle of $189 million and attracted 85,000 racing fans over the course of two days.
Belmont Park is the home of the Belmont Stakes, the final jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown.