An attempt to strengthen New York’s billion-dollar worth horse racing industry is advancing.
The We Are New York Horse Racing coalition will start an effort to secure funding for the New York Racing Association (NYRA) to renovate Belmont Park in Nassau County.
A coalition of business groups, labor unions and trade organizations are part of the “We Are New York Horse Racing” campaign hoping to enhance the schedule of horse racing statewide.
The coalition is trying to find a connection between the Belmont pending renovations and the more substantial implications for the New York horse racing as well as benefits the project could have for Saratoga Springs.
Belmont Park is a thoroughbred horse racing facility, home of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of racing’s Triple Crown.
New York’s horse racing industry has a common goal
The We Are New York Racing group announced the expansion of its membership on Nov. 17 at the state capitol in Albany.
The coalition includes:
- Business Council of New York State (a lobbying entity for various business interests at the capitol)
- Queens Chamber of Commerce
- New York Farm Bureau
- Several non-profit organizations
- Small businesses
The alliance also includes unions, banks, horse farms, OTB corporations, the National Museum of Racing and the Hall of Fame. They all wish to spread the word about the economic importance of New York’s horse racing industry. These efforts are especially pertinent as funding for horse racing has been the subject of legislative debate in New York.
Heather Briccetti Mulligan, the president and CEO of the NY Business Council said:
“Whether upstate or downstate, New York is horse racing country through and through. This sport generates billions in economic activity, supports tens of thousands of jobs, and contributes tens of millions of dollars in taxes.
Modernizing Belmont Park will only increase the tremendous benefits horse racing brings to everyone from farmers in the North Country to backstretch workers on Long Island to hotel workers in Saratoga – and we are excited to help the coalition continue to make the case this year in Albany.”
Modernizing Belmont Park a top priority
Todd Shimkus, the president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce said:
“Saratoga Race Course is the crown jewel of the Spa City, but in order to secure Saratoga’s future, we need to re-imagine and strengthen Belmont Park on Long Island.
The connection between horse racing upstate and downstate is undeniable. Upstate farms are sustained by purchases for Belmont, while strong downstate racing in the spring and fall keeps up momentum for record-breaking summer meets at Saratoga.
The future of Belmont and Saratoga are inextricably linked, and on behalf of my constituents in Saratoga, I am ready to make modernizing Belmont Park a top priority.”
Nearly 19,000 jobs in the state of New York can be linked to the horse racing industry.