Santa Anita Restructuring, Management Changes

Santa Anita Restructuring, Management Changes
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Greg Avioli, CEO and president of Stronach Entertainment, Santa Anita's parent company

Santa Anita announced Oct. 5 it has undertaken a reorganization that includes merging of some departments, streamlining of finance and operations departments, and a reduction in management and seasonal workforce.

According to the announcement from the Southern California track, it is estimated that more than 100 full-time and seasonal positions will be affected by the restructuring.

“This is the first phase of an initiative to position Santa Anita to compete in today’s economic climate and to provide the best possible racing and entertainment product for our customers,” said Greg Avioli, CEO and president of Stronach Entertainment, Santa Anita’s parent company. “We are confident that our restructuring will benefit our organization, California horsemen, racing fans and other local stakeholders. We also want to thank those people whose positions are being consolidated or eliminated for their service and work on behalf of Santa Anita.”

Santa Anita announced that Allen Gutterman, vice president of marketing, is stepping down and that Chris Quinn, former head of group sales, has been named vice president of sales and marketing. The marketing, sales and public relations departments will be merged into one under Quinn, who will also be charged with expanding the track’s entertainment offerings.

“In a time of industry consolidation and when more and more handle is being generated off-track, new approaches are needed to move the industry forward,” said Avioli. “We are focused on making Santa Anita a better racing facility and, at the same time, expanding its profile as a regional entertainment center offering other amenities in addition to racing and during our off-season.

“Chris has done an outstanding job over the last few years as an ambassador for Santa Anita to the local business, media and entertainment communities and to generate sponsorships and revenue through creative uses of our facility,” Avioli’s statement continued. “The timing was right on this as Allen had indicated to me this summer that he was considering other opportunities and was looking to make a change before the end of the year. Allen has done a tremendous job in his six years at Santa Anita and we are grateful for his contributions.”
Also, as part of the reorganization, Santa Anita racing secretary Rick Hammerle will become vice president, racing and racing secretary. In addition to his long-term association with Santa Anita, Hammerle has worked as a racing official at Gulfstream Park, Golden Gate, Del Mar, Monmouth Park, and the Meadowlands.

A subsidiary of The Stronach Group, Stronach Entertainment also owns and operates Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park and Casino, the Maryland Jockey Club, including Pimlico and Laurel race tracks, Portland Meadows, XpressBet, and HRTV.

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