Legislation has now been introduced in both houses of the New York State Legislature that, if passed, would provide NYRA with the statutory authority to access $450 million in New York State-backed bonds to finance the construction of a new racing facility at Belmont Park.
The project would include the construction of a new building to replace the current grandstand and clubhouse; the reconstruction of the main track and both turf courses; and the installation of a synthetic track to be used for winter racing.
NYRA would pay all debt service obligations on the bonds. They would be borrowing against future cash revenue from VLT funds guaranteed to NYRA through the franchise agreement and tax law. As a result, it would not cost the taxpayers.
“With the completion of UBS Arena, the creation of new and modernized racing facilities at Belmont Park is a transformational project that would establish one of the finest sports and entertainment destinations anywhere in the country,” said Pat McKenna, NYRA's Vice President of Communications. “A new Belmont Park would secure the future of Thoroughbred racing downstate, drive tourism and create jobs and economic opportunity throughout Long Island for decades to come. For Thoroughbred racing, a re-imagined Belmont would be the most consequential and significant new developments the sport has seen in recent history. It would result in a facility capable of hosting year-round racing and pave the way for the return of the Breeders' Cup World Championships to New York, among other advantages.”
NYRA is in the final stages of building a retaining wall at the site, which is the first step to constructing new tunnels, which are necessary for the reconstruction process. They will also provide walking access for fans on big days.