NJSEA Confirms Monmouth Lease Negotiations

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority confirmed April 11 it is negotiating with developer and casino owner Morris Bailey for the lease of Monmouth Park.

The five-year lease would take effect June 1, roughly three weeks after Monmouth opens for its 2011 racing season under the auspices of the NJSEA, whose board is scheduled to meet April 14 to discuss the lease and other matters.

Bailey is a Thoroughbred owner and breeder. Last year he purchased Resorts Atlantic City casino with a partner.

“The NJSEA is looking forward to vigorous and productive negotiations with Mr. Bailey, whose resources, track record, and vision provide the most reasonable prospect for the private leasing of Monmouth Park by June 1,” NJSEA chairman Mike Ferguson said in a statement.

Monmouth has been awarded 141 racing days by law, but changes are expected. Bailey has not yet publicly discussed his plans for the track.

Bailey was among eight entities that paid a deposit to view details of the NJSEA request for proposals. Republican Gov. Chris Christie has ordered the lease of Monmouth and Meadowlands to private interests to get the state out of the horse racing business.

Lease of Meadowlands for harness racing by developer and track owner Jeff Gural hinges on a deal with union employees.

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