Preakness InfieldFEST To Feature Entertainment, Unlimited Beer Refills
The Maryland Jockey Club yesterday announced details for this year's Preakness InfieldFEST, which will include "live entertainment, other events, and a $20 mug for unlimited refills of beer," according to BLOODHORSE.com. The MJC is "attempting to build on its newer approach to the infield party held in conjunction with the Preakness Stakes, which this year will be held May 21 at Pimlico Race Course." Musicians Bruno Mars and Train will play "extended sets on the main stage," while three other acts "and a bikini contest will be held on a secondary stage." In addition, "two 160-foot 'MUG Club' areas will be available in the infield and another in the Top of the Stretch section." There also will be an "infield beer garden offering $2 draft beer" from 8:00am-12:00pm ET. Infield tickets cost $40 in advance, and will increase to $50 beginning May 16 (BLOODHORSE.com, 3/14). Baltimore SUN music critic Erik Maza wrote Bruno Mars and Train represent an "extra shot of star power" for the InfieldFEST, now in its third year. The festival is the MJC's "attempt to organize the infield experience, which before 2009 had a reputation for its rowdiness" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 3/14).
THINGS ARE LOOKING DOWN: In Baltimore, Hanah Cho reports the MJC's recently submitted financial statements reveal that the organization "lost tens of millions of dollars in recent years, including at the once-profitable Pimlico." The Laurel Park and Pimlico tracks "lost more than $14 million" in '09 and nearly $12M in '08. The financial documents show the "first annual losses at Pimlico in the past decade despite the fact that it hosts the Preakness, the state's largest sporting event." Cho notes the revelations come as the Maryland General Assembly "considers a proposal that would divert slot-machine revenue earmarked for track improvements to help fund the day-to-day operations of the Jockey Club for several years." In exchange, Laurel and Pimlico "would not curtail live racing but at a minimum would maintain a schedule similar to this year's." A House committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the proposal today (Baltimore SUN, 3/15).