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Lincoln Track Renovations Running Afoul Of Racing Schedule

Written By Derek Helling | Updated:
lincoln nebraska legacy downs fonner park

There is bad news and good news for horse racing fans in Nebraska’s capital. The good news is that upgrades to Legacy Downs, the former Lincoln Race Course, are proceeding.

The bad news, however, is that those renovations will prevent an expanded calendar of racing taking place in Lincoln this spring. It looks like racing enthusiasts will have to wait another year to enjoy more days at the track.

Legacy Downs announces disappointing news

The owners of Legacy Downs had hoped to offer the most robust racing schedule in Lincoln of any year since 2013. Furthermore, the track hoped to offer those events to show its renovated facility after spending $2 million on upgrades like a total track resurfacing.

That won’t be the case in 2023, though, according to Matt Olberding of the Lincoln Journal Star.

Olberding reports that Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association CEO Lynne McNally said there was low confidence that ongoing renovations would be complete in time for an expanded calendar this year. The plan had been to start the season on May 13.

That expanded schedule would have run on weekends from May 13 through June 4. However, Legacy Downs has now scaled back that calendar drastically. Instead, the track will hold one meet this year to satisfy simulcasting requirements.

Even this news has a silver lining to it, however. That depends on how mobile Nebraska gambling enthusiasts are, though.

Fonner Park stepping in

Olberding further shared that the races that Legacy Downs planned to run will instead take place at Fonner Park in Grand Island. According to Olberding, those events will happen ahead of Fonner Park’s normal schedule.

Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak clarified that will consist of races on May 12, 13, 14, 19, and 20. There is one advantage that the relocation of the races brings. Fonner Park is home to one of Nebraska’s two currently operational temporary casinos.

Therefore, racing fans can get in on some slots and table games if the horses don’t catch their fancy. For Lincoln residents, though, the wait for a full spring racing calendar in their city continues.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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