Saratoga Meet Opens With Plumbing, Technical Issues; NYRA Officials "Weren't Ready"
Normalcy "appeared to return" to Saratoga Race Course Saturday, a day after NYRA "stumbled out of the gate with water and technology problems," according to Dennis Yusko of the Albany TIMES UNION. Friday, the opening day of the 144th Saratoga meet, "was marked by overflowing toilets and closed restrooms, glitches in a new wireless Internet network and sporadic problems with the track's public address system and televisions." However, fans "filled the track and its backyard on the first Saturday of the meet." Bathrooms and wireless connections "were functioning, and while some race calls near the paddock still sounded a touch faint, there was a sense that the Spa had returned to form." NYRA "worked through Friday night to make repairs." Early Saturday, a NYRA employee tweeted that the problems "had been corrected." Friday's opening "attracted 25,676 people," up 2.1% from 25,155 in '11 (Albany TIMES UNION, 7/22). In Albany, Tim Wilkin wrote on Friday, "you would have thought the New York Racing Association had penciled in opening day for the middle of December." NYRA officials "weren't ready for it." Water problems caused "clogged and overflowing toilets in men's and women's bathrooms." The jockey room "did not have any water, so riders couldn't shower." Wilkin: "Things happen. Sometimes things you can't control. But these glitches should not have happened." NYRA "had plenty of time to make sure everything was up and running before the most prestigious meet in the country" (Albany TIMES UNION, 7/22).