Construction on a 10,000 square foot hall, to be situated above Lone Star Park's east trackside patio on the east end of the grandstand, began in early December. "Right now, we're in the early stages of construction clearing out the area where we're ready to build," said Jeff Greco, Lone Star Park's vice president and general manager. "The steel framework should be visible in mid-January." The $1.4 million addition will allow Lone Star Park to host large groups and other patrons throughout the year. In addition, it gives the Grand Prairie, Texas racetrack 350 to 400 extra VIP seats for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Oct. 30, 2004.
The improvements, part of a $7.8 million capital improvement plan to host horse racing's year-end championship event, also include the addition of some permanent outdoor seating along the apron and expansion of the winner's circle and saddling paddock. "We'll begin work on the outdoor seating and expansion of the winner's circle and paddock after the first of the year," Greco said. "We're scheduled to have everything done before the start of our spring Thoroughbred Season on April 15." The final phase of the improvements plan is the addition of approximately 38,000 temporary seats. Those will be in place prior to the start of the inaugural Breeders' Cup meeting for Thoroughbreds, slated for Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, 2004.