Smaller Grandstand, Fans In The Infield? O’Rourke Pitching Ideas For Belmont Renovation

New York Racing Association president and CEO Dave O’Rourke is preparing to present the state with redevelopment plans for Belmont Park, reports the Daily Racing Form, which could include a grandstand just one-third the size of the existing one.

Rather than retrofitting the current grandstand, O’Rourke favors rebuilding a smaller version because he believes it represents fewer challenges. All three surfaces at Belmont also need to be renovated, O’Rourke said, and the project could include opening the infield to fans. Specific plans will be drawn up once the state approves a general direction for the project.

The state is the landowner at Belmont Park, where the current construction nearing completion is a new arena for the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders. Construction on the arena began in September of 2019, and while it was delayed due to COVID-19, completion is expected in fall of 2021.

“We think it’s a really good project,” O’Rourke told drf.com. “One, we can fund it off VLTs. It’ll create jobs. It also might create some other opportunities for the state with what it could free up at Aqueduct. Our anticipation is that those conversations with the state are going to pick up literally within the next few weeks.”

Read more at the Daily Racing Form.

The post Smaller Grandstand, Fans In The Infield? O’Rourke Pitching Ideas For Belmont Renovation appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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