Hearing Delay Shouldn't Impact NYRA

NYRA operations shouldn't be impacted by a delay in a bankruptcy hearing.

Officials cautioned that a delay in the New York Racing Association emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is not a sign of a larger problem for the deal giving NYRA a new 25-year franchise extension. 

NYRA was to seek approval of its plan March 6 before a bankruptcy judge in Manhattan, but it has won a delay, officials said, because of the complex nature of the franchise deal and its impact on the NYRA reorganization.

“I have no sense whatsoever that anything is unraveling,’’ said Steve Newman, chairman of the state oversight board that is now in charge of running racing at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga until the NYRA deal is finalized.

The oversight board is being asked by NYRA for a fourth time to temporarily extend NYRA’s operation of the tracks. The current extension expires March 7.

“There shouldn’t be any problem,’’ Newman said of another extension.

NYRA president Charles Hayward did not immediately return a call for comment.

Newman and a source at the Capitol chalked up the new delay in bankruptcy court to attempts by the state and NYRA to complete the paperwork necessary to go before the judge.

“It’s all very complicated legal stuff,’’ Newman said. He also said “nothing appears to be threatening’’ the NYRA bankruptcy reorganization.

It is uncertain how long the new temporary extension for NYRA will last. Newman said he is still canvassing the oversight board’s other members to set up a meeting before the end of the week.