By Pat McKenna – NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Today, as part of the FY 2024 Executive Budget Proposal, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced support for a plan by the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) to modernize the racing facilities at Belmont Park.
NYRA has advanced — and Governor Hochul supports — a $455 million multi-year project to re-imagine Belmont Park with a modern grandstand alongside the hospitality offerings and amenities fans now expect from sports and entertainment venues. NYRA is also committed to updating and enhancing a variety of facilities for the backstretch community, including the construction of more new housing than at any point in Belmont Park’s history. In addition, the project will unlock the 45-acre infield at Belmont Park for a variety of community uses.
Belmont Park was last renovated in 1968. It is the home of the Belmont Stakes, the final jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown. An American tradition inaugurated in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack and moved in 1905 to its now familiar home at Belmont Park, the Belmont Stakes has provided fans with some of the most exciting moments in sports history. From Secretariat’s spellbinding 31-length victory in 1973 to American Pharoah successfully ending a 37-year Triple Crown drought in 2015, the Belmont Stakes is a revered annual event that captures the attention of the sports world.
The project to build a new Belmont Park is expected to generate $1 billion in construction-related economic activity, create 3,700 construction jobs, sustain $155 million in new annual economic impact, and support 740 new full-time jobs.
In response to the project’s inclusion in the FY 2024 Executive Budget Proposal, NYRA President & CEO David O’Rourke issued the following statement:
“Horse racing in New York State has a champion in Governor Kathy Hochul, who clearly recognizes the important role the sport plays within the New York economy. Belmont Park stands at the center of the statewide racing ecosystem, and the project to re-imagine the facility will create jobs, drive tourism to the region and secure the future of thoroughbred racing across the state. The time is right to build a new Belmont Park for the benefit of New York State and we look forward to working with our legislative partners to ensure the Governor’s proposal is enacted.”