The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and its two racetracks--Meadowlands and Monmouth Park--are rejoining the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, effective Jan. 1, 2002, it was announced by both organizations on Friday.
The NJSEA was one of 22 racetracks that announced plans to leave the NTRA last October, including 12 in the Mid-Atlantic. Twelve of those 22 have rejoined or said they will be rejoining. The tracks cited philosophical differences with some NTRA policies, including the NTRA's operation of an Oregon-based wagering hub in conjunction with the TV Games Network. The NTRA has turned over operation of the hub to TVG.
Annual dues from the NJSEA to the NTRA are estimated at $350,000. The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has remained a dues-paying member of the NTRA during the time the state's racetracks dropped their membership.
The announcement of the NJSEA decision to re-join the NTRA comes less than a month after officials with the NTRA and Breeders' Cup said Monmouth Park was being considered as a future site for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. A condition of hosting the event is membership in the NTRA.
"New Jersey racing is very important to the national popularity and economics of horseracing, as shown by the outstanding results of this summer's Monmouth Park meeting," said NTRA commissioner Tim Smith. "We are pleased to have the Meadowlands and Monmouth as member tracks once again; their participation will strengthen both our association and the sport."
"The NTRA has satisfied the areas of concern from our side, including their adoption of policies regarding account wagering," said Bruce Garland, senior executive vice president, racing, for the NJSEA. "We look forward to rejoining and being an active and productive part of the organization."