Arlington Heights Mayor Pushing For Local Racetrack Support
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Mayor Tom Hayes "pledged this week to do all he could" to keep the Arlington Int'l Racecourse open, according to Christopher Placek of the Chicago DAILY HERALD. Hayes said his "hands are kind of tied" with state lawmakers and the track owners controlling the situation. Hayes: "All we can do is encourage positive developments that will help keep the racetrack open. I'm certainly committed to doing that." Placek notes uncertainty around the 92-year-old "horse racing mecca has continued to swirl" after owner Churchill Downs Inc. in August announced that it "wouldn't pursue long-sought, casino-style slots and table games once seen as a lifeline for the struggling racing industry." Hayes said CDI has been "very noncommittal" about what will happen with the track after '21. He added that "much of what happens lies with Churchill," the state legislators and the Illinois Racing Board, which awarded the track 68 live racing dates for the '20 season. Placek notes Hayes has "lobbied state leaders to support the track's interests, most recently when Arlington applied" for the '20 racing dates before the IRB in September (Chicago DAILY HERALD, 11/6).