Lone Star Begins $7.8 Million Renovations for 2004 Breeders' Cup
by Kristin Ingwell Goode
Date Posted: 11/20/2002 10:06:53 AM
Last Updated: 11/20/2002 4:15:57 PM

Lone Star Park is kicking off the plant's $7.8 million in renovations to prepare for the 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Officials attending a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday afternoon will also provide details the three-phase permanent and temporary capital improvements plan for the track.
The choice of Lone Star Park came in July of this year, but is contingent on a final agreement.

"We've had numerous conversations with the Breeders' Cup staff and have spent thousands of hours in preparation for this event," said Corey Johnsen, Lone Star Park's president. "I am confident that we meet all of their requirements, so I expect a final contract to be signed in the near future."

In June the Grand Prairie Sports Facilities Development Corp. unanimously approved a resolution (7-0) to grant the North Texas racetrack $2.9 million for facility improvements in order to host a future Breeders' Cup. The agreement cemented all necessary funding for Breeders' Cup improvements to the 5-year-old racetrack. Last year, legislation was passed which earmarks up to $2 million from the State of Texas to fund improvements.

"All necessary funding is in place," Johnsen said. "To stage a championship event of this magnitude, it's imperative to have strong local and statewide support. We are grateful that both the City of Grand Prairie and the State of Texas have showed tremendous support for Lone Star Park and the sport of horse racing."

While Lone Star Park has hosted crowd of more than 30,000, the capital improvement plan will enable the racetrack to expand its seating capacity to more than 50,000.

"This is a great day for Lone Star Park and the City of Grand Prairie, but it's much larger than that," said Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England. "This is great for area cities like Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving, as well as the entire state of Texas. It has always been our dream to host a Breeders' Cup. I guarantee that we'll be ready, rise to the occasion and put on a great show."

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