The head of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates Monmouth Park and Meadowlands, plans to retire from the post after five years on the job.
Citing "significant decreases" in revenue from both Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing in the last five years, as well as increased health insurance costs, president and chief executive officer George Zoffinger has recommended to the board of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority it reduce its workforce by up to 40 positions.
The Aug. 6-7 weekend of racing in New Jersey generated on-track attendance of more than 75,000 and a handle record of more than $21 million, according to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.
Breeders' Cup Limited and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority have scheduled a press conference Sunday, Aug. 8 at which they are expected to announce that the 2007 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships will be run at Monmouth Park.
State law must change before any entity other than the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority operates Meadowlands and Monmouth Park.
Led by the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap on Sunday, August 8, Thoroughbreds will compete for $3.35 million in graded stakes when Monmouth Park opens its 72-day season Saturday, May 29.
The second of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority's Monmouth Park Stakeholders Committee meetings is scheduled for Feb. 11, and the topic is scheduled to be the lease of the racetrack. The NJSEA has said it's exploring the possibility of leasing Monmouth and Meadowlands.
On Tuesday members of the Monmouth Park stakeholders committee were told that the racetrack could gain future revenue from slot machines and that leasing market is extremely favorable--and that was at its first meeting.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority will formally begin the process of selling or leasing Monmouth Park and Meadowlands in June, a move that could put more than $250 million in the financially strapped state agency's coffers, according to published reports.
Former Monmouth Park racing secretary Michael Dempsey will return to his old position in place of Sean Greely, who was let go earlier this week.
In response to a statement by an official with Gov. Jim McGreevey's administration that a proposal to place video lottery terminals at Meadowlands "is very unlikely," the head of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority said other avenues will be explored in order to keep the state's racing industry viable.
New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey presented his 2003 budget in a March 26 speech before state legislators, and among his cost-cutting proposals is a reduction in the operating subsidy for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which oversees Monmouth Park and Meadowlands, by more than half.
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