Michael Weiss, a longtime racing industry professional with deep ties to Arizona horse racing, has been named the new General Manager at Arizona Downs. Weiss will lead preparations to restore the track and operate the 2021 return of live racing to the Prescott Valley facility. He most recently served as General Manager of Rillito Park Racetrack in Tucson and is well-known for pioneering the PRISE educational program for the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program. He is also a former student in the RTIP and currently serves as a career advisor to program graduates.
“I am excited for the opportunity to contribute to efforts to save Arizona horse racing because I truly believe it is worth saving,” Weiss said. “I look forward to rebuilding the team at Arizona Downs and assembling a safe environment for horsemen and a memorable experience for fans.”
Weiss's hiring comes at a pivotal time for horse racing in the state, as the Arizona Senate is now considering a bill to modernize wagering at horse tracks and OTBs. Senate Bill 1794 would bring more than $300 million in capital investment to Arizona horse racing, including a new track at Arizona Downs, while generating more than $100 million in new state tax revenues.
Live racing returns to Arizona Downs June 1, with a 1:30 p.m. post time, and racing will take place every Tuesday and Wednesday through Sept. 15.