Over 100 people, including union members, backstretch workers, trainers, veterinarians and farmers gathered Monday in Albany, NY. in support of a plan to modernize Belmont Park.
The plan, according to a press release, promises significant new job creation and as much as $1 billion in one-time economic impacts while freeing up 110 acres of state-owned land at Aqueduct Racetrack for future development.
The project was included in Governor Kathy Hochul’s Executive Budget Proposal.
According to the release, Belmont Park’s 117-year-old facilities have not been upgraded since 1968 and its modernization will provide a ‘critical boost to New York’s economy’ while creating a world-class sports and hospitality destination when paired with the New York Islanders’ UBS Arena adjacent to the track.
An Independent economic analysis conducted earlier this year by the We Are NY Horse Racing coalition found that $1 billion would be generated by renovating Belmont Park and create 3,700 construction-related jobs.
At least a third of that spending, $136 million, would be spent with Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBES).
Upon completion, the release says Belmont Park would support $155 million in annual economic output and 740 new jobs.
It is also expected that the modernization will pave the way for the New York Racing Association to bid to host the Breeders’ Cup. Belmont last hosted a Breeders’ Cup in 2005.
The release goes on to indicate that horse racing in the state of New York supports a total of 19,000 and generates $3 billion in economic activity.
The project is to be funded through a construction loan from the state–paid back in full with interest–and therefore there is no cost to the state’s taxpayers.