NY Post: Belmont Park Modernization Plan Is 'Burning More Taxpayer Cash' On A 'Money Pit' - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

NY Post: Belmont Park Modernization Plan Is ‘Burning More Taxpayer Cash’ On A ‘Money Pit’

Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

The New York Post's Editorial Board has published an op-ed this week which strongly condemns Governor Kathy Hochul's support for a $455 million plan to update Belmont Park.

“You can make a 'cultural heritage' case for keeping New York's horse-racing industry alive, even though the free market would execute it,” the op-ed concludes. “But don't insult the public by pretending the state can reap a windfall by burning more taxpayer cash on this money pit.”

The New York Racing Association advanced the multi-year project to re-imagine Belmont Park with a modern grandstand alongside the hospitality offerings and amenities fans now expect from sports and entertainment venues. NYRA also committed to updating and enhancing a variety of facilities for the backstretch community, including the construction of more new housing than at any point in Belmont Park's history. In addition, the project will unlock the 45-acre infield at Belmont Park for a variety of community uses.

NYRA claims it will pay off the bonds over the upcoming two decades, but the End Horse Racing Subsidies Coalition released a study questioning whether the “declining” industry would be able to do so.

Hochul defended the plan in another story in the Post, saying: “The alternative is to have a site that deteriorates, loses value, has a detrimental effect on the surrounding neighborhood. And it also helps become the death of an industry which is synonymous with New York State the racing industry. One part of the Triple Crown.”

NYRA spokesman Patrick McKenna defended the plan in the same story: “The construction of a new Belmont Park will create thousands of jobs, generate billions in economic activity and secure the future of thoroughbred racing in New York State. That's why this transformational project enjoys broad support among New Yorkers, elected officials, organized labor and the statewide business community. A modernized Belmont Park on Long Island would come at no cost to taxpayers and result in the finest sports and entertainment destinations anywhere in the country.”

Read more here: New York Post Op-EdNew York Post story.

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