• Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

Historic Arlington Park’s Racing Days Numbered as Churchill Downs Plans to Promote Illinois Monitor

BySpeed Casino

Feb 24, 2021

Posted on: February 23, 2021, 04:55h. 
Final up to date on: February 23, 2021, 07:00h.

Steve Bittenbender Learn Extra

Churchill Downs Inc. introduced late Tuesday afternoon that it has begun the method to promote Arlington Worldwide Racecourse, the long-lasting Chicago-area observe. It’s a transfer few discovered shocking.

Horses cross the grandstand in an undated picture at Arlington Worldwide Racecourse. On Tuesday, Churchill Downs Inc. introduced it will start the method to promote the historic observe. (Picture: ArlingtonPark.com)

The transfer means the 2021 racing season, scheduled to run from April 30 to Sept. 25, will in all probability be the final for the observe, which opened almost a century in the past in Arlington Heights. In an announcement, Churchill Downs mentioned it doesn’t anticipate a sale to shut earlier than the tip of the meet.
Nevertheless, the Louisville-based gaming firm additionally introduced a business actual property agency will market the 326-acre property as a “redevelopment alternative.”
In an announcement, Churchill Downs CEO Invoice Carstanjen touted the observe’s proximity to downtown Chicago and the property’s rail station as key options to the subsequent tenant.
“We anticipate to see strong curiosity within the web site and look ahead to working with potential patrons, in collaboration with the Village of Arlington Heights, to transition this storied location to its subsequent part,” he mentioned.
“Unhappy Day” for Neighborhood
In an e-mail to On line casino.org, Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes mentioned the suburban village will work with Churchill Downs and actual property agency CBRE in hopes the client will make the most of the “uniqueness” of the property to its fullest extent.
Nonetheless, his temper was bittersweet.

Sure, it’s a tragic day in Arlington Heights,” Hayes informed On line casino.org. “Completely satisfied that we are going to have horse racing once more at Arlington Park a minimum of this yr, as we have a good time a enterprise that has been our principal attraction for greater than 100 years.

“Arlington Park and its many staff have contributed a lot to Arlington Heights over time as a valued group companion, and can be dearly missed.”
In Churchill’s assertion, Carstanjen mentioned the corporate stays “very dedicated” to sustaining racing in Illinois. That would come with both one other a part of the Chicago space or elsewhere within the state.
“We’re exploring potential choices with the state and different constituents and stay optimistic that we will discover options that work for the state, native communities, and the hundreds of Illinoisans who make their residing straight or not directly from thoroughbred horse racing,” he mentioned. “We’re dedicated to the Illinois thoroughbred racing trade and can think about all choices in working towards alternatives for it to proceed into the long run.”
Jordan Abudayyeh, press secretary to Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, informed On line casino.org the state awaits phrase from Churchill on its racing plans within the state.
“The administration will work with all stakeholders to develop an acceptable resolution. We stay dedicated to making sure a powerful racing trade in our state,” she mentioned.
Purse Dispute Delayed 2020 Meet
The final couple of years have been contentious ones for the observe as Illinois horsemen and Churchill officers.

On the coronary heart of the problem, although, was Churchill’s choice to not apply for a on line casino license on the observe. That transfer would have created a income stream horsemen lengthy wished to generate extra money for racing. As an alternative, previous to Illinois lawmakers passing the expanded gaming invoice that gave tracks an opportunity to supply on line casino gaming, Churchill Downs bought a majority stake of Rivers On line casino Des Plaines, which is positioned about quarter-hour away from the observe.

Simply final week, Churchill Downs introduced plans to develop Rivers Des Plaines and make it the primary on line casino in Illinois to have 2,000 gaming seats.
The 2 sides then failed to achieve an settlement on purses for the 2020 meet for months, a transfer that delayed the beginning of the meet till July 23.
And whereas the contract was for 2 years, late final July Carstanjen brought about a stir when he informed inventory analysts {that a} 2021 meet was not particular. He additionally used the decision to say that Arlington Park was not a “long-term resolution.”
Arlington Historical past
Arlington’s historical past dates again to October 1927 and for years the observe was one of many prime locations for racing. Forty years in the past, the observe supplied the primary million-dollar race within the sport’s historical past. Very quickly, the Arlington Million rapidly grew to become one of the vital standard occasions in racing. Since its first operating in 1981, it has attracted the highest older turf horses on an annual foundation.
Even after a hearth devastated the property in 1985, Arlington’s house owners rebuilt and reopened it by 1989.
Churchill took over operations in 2000, and two years later, the observe hosted its solely Breeders’ Cup Championships.
New Dwelling for the Bears?
As information started circulating about Churchill’s choice, soccer followers in America’s Second Metropolis started speculating on social media concerning the prospects of their group shopping for the Arlington property.

It’s time @ChicagoBears go away that dump Soldier Subject! https://t.co/bvckW9Io4M
— MoneyLineMarcos (@MarcosCarb7) February 24, 2021

Time for the bears dome
— Mike (@BigKurz) February 23, 2021

In keeping with quite a few reviews, the Chicago Bears have a lease via 2033 at Soldier Subject. Nevertheless, the group has been rumored for years as a possible suitor. That occurred as not too long ago as final summer time as Sports activities Illustrated’s Bears Digest reported.
Workforce officers didn’t reply to a message despatched Tuesday night.
Ought to the Bears make the transfer, there property may nonetheless keep a gaming connection. The 2019 expanded gaming legislation opened the door for skilled sports activities groups within the state to open a sportsbook at or close to their stadium. It’s how the Chicago Cubs had been in a position to attain a cope with DraftKings final yr.

Associated Information Articles