Maryland Senate Okays $375 Million Funding Plan For Pimlico, Laurel Park Renovations

The Maryland State Senate Friday gave final approval to a bill that would provide financing for improvements at both Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore and Laurel Park In Anne Arundel County.

The Racing and Community Development Act calls for the Maryland Stadium Authority to issue up to $375 million in 30-year bonds for the racetrack upgrades. The Senate bill has the Stadium Authority operating Pimlico most of the year, with the Stronach Group leasing the track for several weeks to host the Preakness and a spring race meeting.

Under the Senate-approved plan, the now-closed Bowie Training Center, also owned by the Stronach Group would be donated for use as a park. The original House bill authorizes a task force to come up with a plan for the training center, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The Senate bill now goes to the House. The potential passage of this legislation marks a dramatic reversal from a year ago, when the former mayor of Baltimore sued the Stronach Group over its plans to move the Preakness from Pimlico to Laurel. Last fall, an agreement was reached to keep the Preakness at Pimlico, build a new grandstand at the track among other renovations and provide new stabling and dormitories at Laurel plus a new synthetic track alongside the dirt and turf surfaces.

In other action this week, a bill that would put sports betting to a public vote in Maryland moved forward in the Senate. Under the measure, nine licenses to operate sports betting venues would be distributed, with Laurel Park and Pimlico sharing one of them. If the bill passes the legislature, a referendum would be placed on November’s ballot.

The post Maryland Senate Okays $375 Million Funding Plan For Pimlico, Laurel Park Renovations appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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