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  #1  
Old 07-30-2020, 07:09 PM
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Exclamation HERSH: Churchill indicates end for Arlington

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Old 07-30-2020, 09:12 PM
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Churchill Downs Inc. plans to sell Arlington Park land

Marcus Hersh
Jul 30, 2020

https://www.drf.com/news/churchill-d...gton-park-land

CHICAGO – Arlington Park’s days are numbered, with the iconic suburban Chicago racetrack likely to be sold, presumably for redevelopment, in the not-too-distant future.

Bill Carstanjen, chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Inc., said in Thursday conference call discussing CDI’s second-quarter results that the land on which Arlington sits will at some point been sold.

“We’ve been patient and thoughtful and constructive with the parties up in that jurisdiction, but long term, that land gets sold,” Carstanjen said. Arlington was merged into CDI’s holdings in 2000 as Arlington chairman Richard Duchossois became a leading CDI stockholder. In 2015, CDI privately purchased a million shares of CDI stock from the Duchossous Group, and Duchossois’s influence over Arlington’s operations has since dimmed. Last summer, given the chance to apply for a casino license at Arlington, CDI declined. Arlington initially said it would conduct sports betting, which gives nothing back to racing purses, but on the Thursday conference call, Carstanjen said CDI’s Illinois sports-betting interests would be confined to Rivers Casino. CDI has a majority share in Rivers, the state’s largest casino, which is located about 13 miles from Arlington.

Arlington was among the last American racetracks to reopen following the coronavirus pandemic, only beginning a 30-day race meet on July 23 after belatedly striking a two-year contractual agreement with the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. There were signs CDI had minimal interest in conducting racing at Arlington this summer – such as when Arlington president Tony Petrillo publicly stated as late as June that racing without spectators wasn’t feasible for the track – but Arlington eventually opened its stables for a brief, stakes-free, three-days-per-week meet. The contract with the ITHA extends through the 2021 racing season, but Carstanjen indicated a meet next year is far from certain, saying “we have an agreement to run a 2021 race meet if we elect to do so.”

Carstanjen did float the possibility of moving the racing license from Arlington to a different facility in the state.

“We want to work constructively with all the constituencies in the market to see if there’s an opportunity to move the license or otherwise change the circumstances so that racing can continue in Illinois,” he said.

CDI also owns Quad City Downs, located on the western edge of Illinois in East Moline. Carstanjen offered no further details about where and how the racing license might be moved and said he wouldn’t comment on the call regarding a timeframe for selling the Arlington parcel.

Hawthorne casino license moves forward

The Illinois Gaming Board on Thursday unanimously voted to move forward a casino license application filed by Hawthorne Race Course.

Hawthorne’s applicants – its “owners and key personnel,” the track said in a press release – were determined by the board to be suitable for the licensing process to move forward. Final approval is not assured, but this was an important step that comes nearly a year after the application was initially filed. Gaming board decisions on casino applicants last summer were expected much sooner, but the scope of the gambling expansion legislation passed in June 2019 bogged down the licensing procedures, and the coronavirus pandemic further slowed the gears of the Illinois bureaucracy.

The board also voted to approve Hawthorne’s sports-betting operations, which can become operational well before a casino might open. Hawthorne, pending final licensing approval, has begun the early steps of transforming its aging facility. The track, which sits on the border of Cicero and Stickney and on the edge of Chicago proper, plans major upgrades to existing structures and intends to begin the project in earnest this September with hopes of opening its casino by the end of 2021.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:42 AM
freddymo freddymo is offline
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Sabbath Shalom... Illinois is a mess people leaving that state in droves, I wonder why?
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddymo View Post
Sabbath Shalom... Illinois is a mess people leaving that state in droves, I wonder why?
Shabbat.. Shabbat Shalom Freddy. Jeez. It's 11a.

Oh.. And nice dog whistle by the way.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:45 PM
freddymo freddymo is offline
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Shabbat.. Shabbat Shalom Freddy. Jeez. It's 11a.

Oh.. And nice dog whistle by the way.
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Old Yesterday, 05:30 PM
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CDI plans to sell Arlington for redevelopment
Matt Hegarty

https://www.drf.com/news/cdi-plans-s...-redevelopment

Churchill Downs Inc. intends to put its Arlington Park property up for sale, calling it a “unique redevelopment opportunity,” the company announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The company, which merged with Arlington in 2000, said that it was “committed to running Arlington’s 2021 race dates,” which are scheduled this year from April 30 to Sept. 25.

“The company does not expect any sale of the Arlington site to close prior to the conclusion of Arlington’s 2021 race meet or that the conduct of the sale process will impact Arlington’s racing operations this year,” the statement said.

The statement also said that Churchill would look to “relocate” Arlington’s racing license “to another community in the Chicagoland area or elsewhere in the state.”

“We are committed to the Illinois Thoroughbred racing industry and will consider all options in working toward opportunities for it to continue in the future,” said Bill Castanjen, the company’s chief executive officer.

Company officials have hinted for years that Arlington would soon go on the selling block. The track, an architectural gem located in the northwest Chicago metropolitan area, has in recent years struggled financially. Last year, Arlington was one of the few tracks operating during the pandemic that posted lower per-race handle numbers than in the year prior.

When Churchill merged with Arlington in 2000, the company expected to get the right to operate slot machines or casinos at the track. That never materialized, even as Illinois awarded licenses for 11 standalone casino locations.

In the summer of 2019, Churchill bought a majority stake in the River Casino Des Plaines in the Chicago metro area, just 10 miles from Arlington. The company then passed on an opportunity to bid for a casino license at Arlington, saying the state’s tax regulations and requirements for purse subsidies would make a casino there “financially untenable,” according to comments made at the time by Carstanjen.

The Tuesday release makes it clear that Churchill does not believe that it will find a buyer interested in running the racetrack, which was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1985 by the track’s owner, Dick Duchossois, at a cost of $100 million.

“Arlington’s ideal location in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, together with direct access to downtown Chicago via an on-site Metra rail station, presents a unique redevelopment opportunity,” the release said. “We expect to see robust interest in the site.”

The Duchossois family was made a major shareholder of Churchill after the 2000 merger, and the company in recent years has negotiated three separate transactions to buy back the family’s shares, at a total cost of $490.1 million. The family still has two million shares of the company.
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  #7  
Old Yesterday, 09:33 PM
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What a shame. That was one beautiful classy plant. Stoopers got no action there because you wouldn’t even throw losers on the floor it was so clean. When I went the Ushers looked like they all just won the masters. Letgoodtimesroll won at Saratoga that day to make it a perfect 3 for 3 at the spa at 22-1....
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Old Today, 10:41 AM
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This is easy for me to say as I’ve never been to Arlington Park and only wagered on it rarely, but is the closure of some number of tracks ultimately a good thing in the long ru ? We often complain about the small fields at some tracks. Will contraction lead to bigger (maybe more competitive) fields at the remaining tracks or is this a naive/uninformed way to look at it?
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Old Today, 11:37 AM
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Just thinking about how many people will never fall in love with the sport because they didn’t have a track to go to. Going to Suffolk Downs every day was probably more fun than anyone had the right to have. The sights and sounds of the track are the best.
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Old Today, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alabama Stakes View Post
Just thinking about how many people will never fall in love with the sport because they didn’t have a track to go to. Going to Suffolk Downs every day was probably more fun than anyone had the right to have. The sights and sounds of the track are the best.
That is pretty sad. If Parx were to close, the 20 minute trip there would turn into an hour+ to Delaware or Monmouth. Not sure how many times I would have gone as a kid if that were the case.
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