Breeders' Cup Defers Action on Future Sites

Organization also reported a loss that was better than projected.

The board of directors of Breeders’ Cup Ltd. discussed but took no action on future host sites during its regularly scheduled meeting April 22.

As has been widely reported, Breeders’ Cup is considering its options for future sites, including a proposal to establish a permanent host site at Santa Anita during the Oak Tree meet. Oak Tree hosted both the 2008 and 2009 events.

"The board continued to discuss future host site options beyond 2010 as well as other aspects of the long term strategic plan including an expanded Breeders’ Cup racing competition and a revised nominations structure," the organization said in a release. "The plan is expected to be finalized in the near future."

The Breeders’ Cup also reported that its bottom line fared better than initially projected, with net assets declining by less than $1.1 million in 2009. The Breeders’ Cup reported this decline was much less than its previously projected loss of over $5 million and came despite a $5 million decline in revenues from nominations.

The release said the difference between the projected loss and actual amount was due to gains in other operational revenue and investments that offset the decline.

"Decreasing nominations revenue is the result of lower bloodstock values and smaller foal crops driven by the larger economy and consolidation in our industry," said Greg Avioli, Breeders’ Cup president & CEO, in a statement. "As all organizations must do from time to time, we have to adopt and find ways to generate the resources necessary to fulfill our mission."

He added that the organization was successful in generating $5.6 million in sponsorship and licensing revenues "despite a very challenging market for sports sponsorships in 2009."

In other action, the board authorized a $100 (20%) discount for all 2010 foals nominated online to the Breeders’ Cup program by Aug. 1. The online discount, which was offered in 2009, is projected to generate over $1 million in savings for foal nominators.

The board also approved the 2010 budget, which includes $30 million in Breeders’ Cup purse funding. The purse funding consists of the $26 million for the two-day Championships and an additional $4.25 million in purses for Breeders’ Cup nominated horses in the U.S. and internationally through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge and Stakes programs.

"In a year where we are projecting less than $12 million in total nominations revenues, it is rewarding to be able to provide over $30 million in purses," Avioli said in the statement. "Our ability to do so is a direct result of the successful expansion of the Championships over the past few years."

The financial report and other information is available at the Breeders’ Cup Web site.

The Breeders’ Cup board of directors consists of: Helen Alexander, Greg Avioli (CEO), Antony Beck, William S. Farish, Jr. (chairman), Terence P. Finley, R.D. Hubbard, Roy Jackson, Tom Ludt, Robert T. Manfuso, Clem Murphy, Satish K. Sanan, Richard T. Santulli, Oliver Tait and E. Duncan Taylor.