Maryland Study Calls For Demolition, Rebuilding Of Pimlico
A new Maryland Stadium Authority study "calls for demolishing Pimlico Race Course and rebuilding it" at a cost of $424M, according to a front-page piece by Luke Broadwater of the BALTIMORE SUN. The study "aims to design an ideal venue to host the Preakness Stakes and considers several year-round, non-racing uses for the site." The study "recommends adding amenities at the track, such as a grocery store, other shops, a hotel and townhouses." The estimated $424M cost "does not include any of the future development initiatives beyond rebuilding the clubhouse and tracks." The suggested plan "envisions additional projects that would be built by private developers." The study also suggests city and state officials, the Maryland Jockey Club and The Stronach Group "enter into formal negotiations about the next steps" for the track. Stronach owns and operates Pimlico and Laurel Park, and has said before that it "would not foot the entire bill for a renovation or rebuild." Stronach has also said that such an undertaking "would require a substantial public investment," but that the company is "open to discussing a public-private partnership." Baltimore City Council President Bernard Young said that he was concerned that the Preakness "might move during a rebuilding and then not return." Young: "If they can guarantee us we won’t lose the Preakness, the city will do our part." Amelia Chasse, a spokesperson for Gov. Larry Hogan, said the governor is "on record supporting keeping the Preakness in Baltimore and at Pimlico.” Broadwater notes the study's estimated cost was about $100M "higher than earlier estimates." It includes a $252.2M "multi-use clubhouse," $120.5M in infrastructure improvements, $29.6M in "work on the infield and track" and $21.5M for demolition (BALTIMORE SUN, 12/13).