Action on Seaport Park Application Delayed

A hearing by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission on the proposed Seaport Park by Greenwood Racing, owner and operator of Philadelphia Park, ended inconclusively Dec. 16 pending submission of additional financial information.

Greenwood, which in Seaport Park has applied for the final Thoroughbred license in the state, has proposed a casino, hotel, conference center, restaurants, theater, and retail outlets for the site, as well as a five-eighths-mile racing surface. The facility would be located on the Delaware River near the Commodore Barry Bridge across from southern New Jersey.

Bob Green, president of Greenwood Racing, indicated to the commission the racetrack would be built even if slot machines were not legalized by the state legislature. Another group wants to build a Standardbred track in Chester.

Opponents of Greenwood's plans--including the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, which has hired a private investigator, Beau Dietl and Associates of New York, to probe into its principals--point to the fact the company has not paid federal income taxes the last six years, and only $300,000 to the state.

Financing for the proposed track has also been called into question, as Greenwood said it projects borrowing $50 million from Vectura Establishments, a Liechtenstein-based company, and $10 million from Rock Ltd., a firm from the Isle of Man that owns a smaller stake in Greenwood.

Vectura also holds the $55-million mortgage on Philadelphia Park, and documents provided to the commission show Greenwood has been in default on that note and virtually all of its other loans for at least 10 years.

The commission wants to examine Greenwood's recent tax returns before it makes a decision on the Thoroughbred license.