NJSEA Advised to Sell Meadowlands, Monmouth

NJSEA Advised to Sell Meadowlands, Monmouth
Photo: File
Paddock at Monmouth Park, which would be sold if recommendation is followed.
A recommendation to sell control of Monmouth Park and Meadowlands was made to an executive committee of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, giving the latest indication the NJSEA is seriously contemplating selling the two racetracks to a private investor.

Bankers from Lehman Brother made the advisory this week, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. The full board of the NJSEA will decide on whether to seek formal bids Nov. 26. The bids could approach $300 million for both facilities.

"It is worth pursuing," said George Zoffinger, chief executive of the NJSEA. "The investment firm has listened to a variety of people who are saying they would have interest in these properties."

Meadowlands and Monmouth Park generated $23.5 million profit last year, which has made the sale of the racetracks a controversial subject, the Star-Ledger reports. Zoffinger promised any agreement to lease the tracks will include a provision the state maintain control of money from any future slot machines.

Lehman Brothers believes Magna Entertainment Corp. and Churchill Downs Inc. would be the leading pursuers of the tracks as well as several casino companies.

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