Lonny Powell, a longtime industry official who has worked on the racetrack and regulatory sides, has been appointed director of the Arizona Department of Racing. Powell, currently a consultant, will begin his new job Jan. 4, 2010.
Powell was appointed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. The Department of Racing regulates pari-mutuel horse and Greyhound racing as well as boxing and mixed martial arts. There are separate racing and boxing commissions under the department.
“Arizona, like a lot of states, is going through a dynamic revolution in racing,” Powell said. “Facilitating what this industry looks like will be a big part of my role.”
Arizona will lose its premier Greyhound facility, Phoenix Greyhound Park, which is slated to close Dec. 19. Simulcast operations will move to Apache Greyhound Park, which no longer offers live racing.
On the Thoroughbred side, Turf Paradise and the Arizona Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association on Dec. 4 signed a new contract after months of contentious negotiations.
Powell has strong ties to Arizona. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program and former president of Turf Paradise, which is located in Phoenix.
Powell also has served as president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International; president of Santa Anita Park and executive vice president of operations for track owner Magna Entertainment Corp.; president of Multnomah Greyhound Park in Oregon; executive vice president of Longacres in Washington; and vice president of public affairs for Youbet.com.
Powell said he and his family will move to Arizona from Lexington, where they have lived for nine years.