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Friday, December 17, 2010

A Reprieve for NJ Racing

According to multiple reports, the State of New Jersey will extend loans to the standardbred industry until April to give Jeff Gural time to negotiate a lease to take over the running of the Meadowlands.  Of course, the assumption is if no lease is signed by April 1, the Meadowlands will shut down.

At this point, this is the best proposal standardbred interests could hope for.  I would assume Jeff Gural has demonstrated not only he has the financial resources to do what is needed, but he has a successful background launching racetracks.  The three months will allow Gural sufficient time to do a complete study on the likelihood of the Meadowlands being able to be profitable.

While this takes pressure off for the immediate future, racing interests should not rest easily.  As we have seen before, three months goes pretty fast.  And there is no guarantees that a lease will be signed.  But for now at least, we can concentrate on racing.  Opening night at the Meadowlands will apparently be January 7.


The_Knight_Sky said...

I'll take this bit of good news.

April 1st is far better deadline than February 1st.

I like Mr. Gural's ideas from what little I've read about him. The mystery remains however on are the other (two) partners.

As for the possible shutdown of racing at the Meadowlands live racing, does that mean simulcasting also?

Pacingguy said...

THe plan would be to convert the back paddock to an OTW. The question is would any harness track send them a signal, not that it would really hurt them any.

The_Knight_Sky said...

What makes you skeptical about the other Harness Tracks?

I like the back paddock OTW idea,
also the new grandstand on what is now the current backstretch (and an empty training track area).

I think the current grandstand is in pretty good shape but major renovations are necessary to make it a modern palace though. Maybe Jeff Gural knows that a new grandstand on the other side would allow for Sunday simulcasting when the NFL games are held.

The sunsets in the summer would prevent a good view of the races at 7pm though.

There is no reason why Sunday Simulcasting has to be shutdown and there has to be a specific parking lot for the Meadowlands simulcasting customers. Paterson Plank Road is a far enough location to mull over.

Pacingguy said...

When Rockingham cancelled racing this year, most harness tracks yanked their signal. That is why.

With regards to your comments about a poor view of the races during the summer at sunset, I know what you mean. When Yonkers years ago tried daytime racing in the winter a similar problem happened. However, you are assuming a summer championship meeting is going to occur at night. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a day meet or it could just be started at 8pm.

The_Knight_Sky said...

I have taken pics of the oval under differing conditions.

At certain times of the year, the angle of the sun at sundown shines directly into the eyes at the angle Mr. Gural is proposing. Perhaps I am making too much of this since it'll be a "temporary" loss of view.

Perhaps they can have the grandstand fitted with certain type of solarized glass windows.

Either way, I'd like everything to be first class, the way it was when The Meadowlands was initially was built. It deserves nothing less.

Pacingguy said...

If Gural is involved, worry not. It will be first class.