New York Racing Association announced March 5 that it will invest $1.9 million at Saratoga Race Course for a series of capital improvements designed to enhance the customer experience during the 2014 summer meet, as well as $5.9 million in similar improvements at Aqueduct Racetrack and $680,000 at Belmont Park.
The plans include the addition of hundreds of high-definition television sets throughout the facility, new high-definition large-screen video boards, an enhanced sound system, and improved wireless capabilities. Other projects include an increase in the number of picnic tables for the backyard, upgrades to the restrooms, and a new entertainment area for families that will include an expanded event tent.
"We want our guests to have a great experience when they come to Saratoga Race Course," said NYRA President Christopher Kay. "We appreciate this treasured venue and are investing in it for all horse racing fans who cherish their visit to Saratoga."
In addition to the capital improvements at Saratoga, the NYRA also announced a series of enhancements for its two downstate properties. The improvements, valued at approximately $680,000 at Belmont Park and $5.9 million at Aqueduct Racetrack, were identified based on feedback from guests as well as internal assessments of the facility.
The improvements at Belmont include the addition of more than 130 new high-definition televisions, modernized and expanded hospitality areas, a new high-definition video board near the paddock, and a newly constructed music stage in the backyard.
Aqueduct will see the addition of the new, state-of-the art simulcasting center Longshots, new high-definition televisions, airport-style seating, Trakus technology, new infield video boards, and a number of improvements to the general facility including enhanced lighting, infield landscaping, and new flooring.
The vast majority of the improvements will have been completed prior to the next opening day of each racetrack, according to the NYRA.