RACING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2020 PASSED BY MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
We are pleased to inform you that the historic capital plan to preserve and enhance the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore and enhance year-round thoroughbred horse racing at Laurel Park has passed the Maryland General Assembly and is now on the Governor’s desk.
As Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of The Stronach Group, just stated in a press release, “I would like to thank Maryland’s policy makers for the passage of the legislation that paves the way for an enhanced Preakness in Baltimore, the revitalization of year round racing at Laurel Park and reinvestment in the many communities of interest near and related to the racing industry. Their tireless efforts, particularly as they work to prioritize the health and well-being of Maryland’s citizens during these difficult times, is highly commendable.”
“The passage of the Racing and Community Development Act of 2020 is a defining moment for the thoroughbred horse racing industry in this State,” said Alan M. Rifkin, counsel to the Maryland Jockey Club and the Preakness Stakes and the Firm’s managing partner.
After many years of controversy surrounding how to fund and modernize Maryland’s aging racing facilities, the Racing and Community Development Act provides the answers. Pimlico Race Course will be redeveloped as a world-class racing and community purpose venue befitting the Preakness Stakes, a world-class racing event that means so much to our City and State. When not conducting the Preakness Stakes, the clubhouse and facilities will be used for community activities, recreational purposes, civic events and other public purposes. Laurel Park will redeveloped as one of the finest racing and training facility in the country and include an equine diagnostic center, new racing and training surfaces, modern stables and barns, and other facilities that will make it world-class as well.
We at RWL are very pleased and honored to have led the negotiations that presented the plan to the State’s policy leaders and to the legislature. Special thanks go to Mike Johansen, who led the government relations efforts, JR Reith, Eric Bryant and Brad Rifkin for their tireless efforts before the General Assembly. In addition, we would be remiss in not extending our appreciation to Joe Bryce and John Favazza at Manis Canning for their professionalism and tireless efforts. We also want to recognize our hardworking counterparties – Bill Cole on behalf of the City of Baltimore and Alan Foreman on behalf of the Maryland thoroughbred horsemen. And, of course we extend our great appreciation to our State’s policymakers, including House and Senate leadership and members.