More Losses Reported to Court by NYRA
by Tom Precious
Date Posted: 4/20/2007 6:21:31 PM
Last Updated: 4/23/2007 3:30:30 PM

The New York Racing Association keeps bleeding funds, according to the racing group’s latest disclosure to a federal bankruptcy judge overseeing its reorganization.

After improvements following an especially sour financial month in December, NYRA reported losses of $4.8 million in March, according to the filing.

NYRA President Charles Hayward was not available for comment.

NYRA lost $7.1 million in December, blaming the flow of red ink chiefly on typical cash flow problems that occur during the slow racing month. By January, the monthly loss level had improved to $3.9 million.

The latest fiscal plight comes as NYRA is trying to hold onto the franchise to operate Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga racetracks – which it has run since 1955. NYRA is competing against three others – Excelsior Racing Associates, Empire Racing Associates and Capital Play – for the new franchise, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 1. Aides to Gov. Eliot Spitzer are currently reviewing proposals submitted by the four groups. A recommendation is expected to be delivered to Spitzer in about three weeks; from there, Spitzer and the Legislature must agree on a new franchise holder.

NYRA, meanwhile, is trying to get approval of a video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct. At the same time, the state of New York is seeking to have NYRA’s entire bankruptcy case tossed out of court, arguing that it is a ward of the state and, therefore, ineligible for bankruptcy protection.

During March, NYRA said it disbursed about $14.3 million, but lost $4.8 million. It spent $4 million on its facilities, $3.7 million on administration and $736,000 on “reorganization,’’ which are the legal and other costs associated with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

NYRA must report on its fiscal operations every month to a federal bankruptcy judge in Manhattan. NYRA sought federal bankruptcy protection last November.


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