HomeHorse RacingPimlico Redevelopment: Lawmakers debate plan to centralize state's horse racing industry

Pimlico Redevelopment: Lawmakers debate plan to centralize state’s horse racing industry

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BALTIMORE — Maryland lawmakers on Tuesday laid out what The Stronach Group gets in the agreement reached with the state to transfer Pimlico Race Course to a state racing authority.

The Stronach Group will be paid $3 million annually in the 10-year license agreement, as well as two percent of the handle from The Preakness and Black Eye Susan Stakes, officials told lawmakers Tuesday.

The General Assembly still needs to approve the deal, which would clear the way for the demolition and redevelopment of Pimlico Race Course. A bill would increase the bonds approved for the project from $375 million to $400 million.

“I’m just concerned about the future of horse racing in terms of we get 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 years down the road and we’re losing money and then it has to be additionally subsidized,” Del. Jason Buckel, R-District 1B, said.

House Bill 1524, introduced last week, transfers Pimlico Race Course from Stronach Group to the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority. Another bill, HB 1416, would create a Pimlico Community Redevelopment Plan on the portion of the site that’s not the racing facilities.

“This is essential for the modernization—the Camden Yards-ization, if you will—of the track,” bill sponsor Del. Samuel “Sandy” Rosenberg, D-District 41, said. “There is no city in the country that has the second game of the World Series every year. We have the second jewel of the Triple Crown every year.”

During the redevelopment, The Preakness Stakes would temporarily move 20 miles south to Laurel Park in 2026.

“The center of Maryland racing will be Pimlico,” Del. Rosenberg said.

The redevelopment options include an upgraded track, training facility, and event space. 

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