NYRA to get $455M loan in state budget to revitalize Belmont Park

According to NYRA's website, the renovation will replace the existing 1.25 million square foot structure with around 275,000 square foot facility featuring modern amenities.

Krista McNally

May 2, 2023, 10:01 PM

Updated 411 days ago

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The New York Racing Association (NYRA) will be getting a $455 million loan to revitalize Belmont Park.
The loan approved in the state budget will fund the construction of a new grandstand and clubhouse.
President and CEO of the Long Island Association (LIA) Matt Cohen says the development will reestablish the Elmont racetrack as the global capital of thoroughbred racing.
"It's a huge win for Long Island," Cohen says. "We are taking a billion dollars in construction-related economic activity, 3,700 construction jobs, an annual economic impact of more than $150 million."
Not everyone in the community is completely sold yet. Vice President of the Parkhurst Civic Association Lori Halep says she has concerns.
"Because we don't know as a community how this is going to affect our day to day lives," Halep says.
Halep says she wants to know where people will be parking and how roads are going to support another influx in traffic.
NYRA will consolidate thoroughbred racing, which will end races at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. All of those races will now happen at Belmont Park.
According to NYRA's website, the renovation will replace the existing 1.25 million square foot structure with around 275,000 square foot facility featuring modern amenities – about one-fifth the current size.
Some residents who grew up near the racetrack are nostalgic to the massive green and brick building that has not been updated since 1968.
"My father brought me there as a kid, I remember going all the way up to the top," says Mike Behrman, of Elmont.
According to the NYRA, the project will not cost taxpayers anything. The LIA tells News 12 it could be completed by 2026.
News 12 reached out to NYRA for comment but have not heard back.


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