The New York Racing Association is inviting the public to participate in a community forum to review a menu of potential capital improvement projects for Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The forum will be held at the Saratoga Springs City Center Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
The various proposed capital improvement projects will be open for public comment and feedback from the community in order to assess priority and implementation, according to a NYRA release, which said the menu includes a variety of projects designed to secure the historic nature of the race track while enhancing the facilities and overall fan experience.
“The projects we choose to undertake will not be determined unilaterally,” said NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward. “We recognize that part of what makes Saratoga Race Course so special is its deep integration and embracement by the community. All of us at NYRA truly look forward to hearing from the public as we prepare to make essential and intelligent changes to bolster the fan experience and to secure the future of Saratoga.”
Following their initial introduction to the public Sept. 1, visual renderings of the proposed projects will remain on display at the City Center through Friday, Sept. 2. The exhibition will be moved to Saratoga Sept. 3 and will be available for public viewing near the Jockey Silks Room through Labor Day, the final day of the 2011 meet.
Funding for the capital improvement projects will come from revenue generated through the installation of 4,500 video lottery terminal machines and 500 electronic table games at Aqueduct. According to statute, NYRA will receive 4% of revenues from these VLTs for capital improvements--or an estimated $27.6 million annually-- based on figures provided by the VLT operator, Genting New York.
An extensive historical analysis and studies of the backstretch and frontside of Saratoga were recently completed by the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, with assistance from NYRA and Turnberry Consulting US, a London-based property and planning consultancy practice that has been appointed by NYRA to advise the direction of capital improvements to Saratoga, Belmont Park and Aqueduct. The potential projects being presented by NYRA are the results of those studies and analysis, according to the release.