On Thursday, December 13, the Maryland Stadium Authority released its study on the future of Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore concluding that the best option for the nearly 150-year-old track is to tear it down and rebuild from scratch. The study proposed $424 million for the rebuild, but the new version of Pimlico would include many additional features that would benefit both the community and the racing industry. Such additional structures proposed are a hotel, supermarket, shops and an infield that can be used for other events in addition to live racing days.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh stated that the city strongly endorses the stuffy and redevelopment plan. She said, “The economic opportunity it would bring could dramatically revitalize an area that’s experienced disinvestment for decades.”
Democratic state lawmaker Sandy Rosenberg, whose district includes Pimlico, said the study’s proposal presents, “an extraordinary community development opportunity on the racetrack site that would also allow us to transform the current Pimlico into a 21st century racing facility.”
The Stronach Group, owners of Pimlico, put out a statement Thursday morning applauding the Maryland Stadium Authority stating, “The Stronach Group would like to thank the Maryland Stadium Authority for its thorough and extensive job of understanding and responding to the challenges of the aging Pimlico Race Course.” The press release also stated that MSA’s findings are inline with their own assessments of the track.
The big question now is, who would be paying for the $424million rebuild. Belinda Stronach, head of The Stronach Group, said that her team was open to any proposals while Tim Ritvo, chief operating officer, stated that they could not pay for the entire rebuild on its own. At this time, it is unclear how much of the suggested rebuild budget could be funded by the government.
In the meantime, the Maryland Jockey Club released its 2019racing schedule, which includes the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 18. The schedule shows a 12-day Preakness Meet that will include 16 stakes races worth $3.8 million in purses.