At the time of the earlier meeting, Salmons expected to hear back from Magna in June. The purchase keeps that timeline intact.Last year, Magna proposed a state-of-the-art Thoroughbred showcase and horse-oriented entertainment center in Dixon that would replace San Mateo's Bay Meadows, which must be vacated by Dec. 31, 2002. When Magna bought Bay Meadows, the company got the license, but not the property underneath the racetrack. The landowner plans to redevelop the site.The new pastoral complex in Dixon would include a year-round training facility. If approved by city officials and licensed by the state, racing could be held at the new track as soon as April 2003.
Its first time through Dixon almost a year ago, Magna pitched a vague plan, trying to weigh local reaction before committing. A small but vocal group of residents, worried how a racetrack might affect their community's small-town feel, protested at city council meetings.Dixon, a farming town that is rapidly turning into a suburban bedroom community, has about 15,000 residents. That local dissension caused Magna to not close escrow on the property last fall. Stronach, though, remained very interested in the Dixon location, and Magna retained the option to buy the site, its first choice for a new track and training facility.