A $14-million racetrack/amphitheater has been announced for Amarillo, Texas. Construction on the facility, along Interstate 40 near the famous Cadillac Ranch art display, is expected to begin this summer. It will provide more than 400 jobs upon completion.
The 275-acre track-amphitheater complex is being built by Yellow Rose Entertainment Inc., along with strategic managing partner Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.
The track part of the facility -- named Saddle Brook Park -- will be managed by Lone Star Park under a 10-year management contract. "Our alignment with Lone Star Park gives us the experience of one of the nation's most successful horse racing operations," said Don Essary, vice president of racing and director of Saddle Brook Park.
"Many of our top executives have assisted with multiple openings of other racetracks and bring a wealth of experience and resources to Saddle Brook Park," said Corey S. Johnsen, Lone Star Park's president and general manager. "We think there is great potential for additional race dates in Texas, especially in undeveloped markets such as Amarillo. We're strong believers in horse racing and entertainment as a partnership, and commend their unique concept."
Saddle Brook Park plans up to 30 days of racing annually for Thoroughbreds and American Quarter Horses. Yellow Rose Entertainment is awaiting final approval from the Texas Racing Commission of its recently acquired pari-mutuel racing license.
The racetrack will be a seven-furlong oval (or seven-eighths of a mile) with a six-furlong backstretch chute and a 550-yard chute for Quarter Horses. Lights will be installed for night racing. The three-level grandstand will have seating capacity of 4,000. Plans call for a simulcast pavilion on the ground floor and 14 VIP suites on the second level. The third level will feature box seating, an exclusive Jockey Club and enclosed dining.
"The region has needed something like this for a long time," said E. Drew Alexander, president and chief executive officer for Yellow Rose Entertainment Inc. Alexander is an Amarillo businessman and horse owner and breeder, who conceived the idea for the partnership between the two venues.
"We view the complex as a hybrid track -- a multi-use facility in a market craving horse racing and region hungry for live music," said Todd Harmon, director and investment banker of Yellow Rose Entertainment.