As promised, Jeff Gural has provided an update by before the March 15 stakes payment deadline regarding he reports that he has some partners in the program but still needs $40 million + financing to complete the project to build the new grandstand and OTWs. Gural mentions he needs some concessions from the state. My suspicion is the big issue is the length of the lease. It is generally acknowledged that it will take 30 years to substantiate the building of a new grandstand, but based on reports the NJSEA is only offering a five year lease for Monmouth, the state may be offering only a five year lease for the Meadowlands. If the state holds to a five year for the Meadowlands, that may present a problem. Either way, Gural promises to have the issue resolved by the end of the month.
Just in case anyone thinks Governor Christie has it out just for the standardbred industry, they would be wrong. The Paulick Report indicates Monmouth Park will have a 141 day meet (which means welcome back $4,000 claimers), IF an operator can be found. If they were running their super meet from last year, I am sure someone would pick up the lease. However, if they are forced to run an extended meet consisting primarily of mediocre Jersey breds, there will be less interest as it will be a sure money loser at least for this year.