Horse Racing Forum - PaceAdvantage.Com - Horse Racing Message Board

Go Back   Horse Racing Forum - PaceAdvantage.Com - Horse Racing Message Board > Thoroughbred Horse Racing Discussion > General Racing Discussion


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 02-24-2021, 11:25 AM   #1
bobbyb
Registered User
 
bobbyb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: WC N.of Wa.
Posts: 997
It's for Real - Arlington is Officially For Sale

Pretty sad to see it end up this way. I guess there's more money in property development than there is in a racing facility.
If you have not been to AP the things I will miss is the ambience, the fans (minus the riff raff) and the OTB trackside.

However, this may be a boon for Hawthorne. We shall see.

https://news.yahoo.com/arlington-par...124419168.html
bobbyb is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 11:43 AM   #2
dilanesp
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 7,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyb View Post
Pretty sad to see it end up this way. I guess there's more money in property development than there is in a racing facility.
If you have not been to AP the things I will miss is the ambience, the fans (minus the riff raff) and the OTB trackside.

However, this may be a boon for Hawthorne. We shall see.

https://news.yahoo.com/arlington-par...124419168.html
It's certainly a failure for the sport. Not only is Chicago a massive media market where you want to have a premier track, as well as a place with a longstanding horse racing tradition, but Arlington was rebuilt after the mid-'80's fire as what was supposed to be a prototype for the modern racetrack. It was a palace. In that sense, it would be as if the Orioles moved out of Camden Yards.

But whenever this happens (and I lost my favorite track, Hollywood Park, in 2013), I always remind myself that the economics of the sport require significant contraction, both because we have fewer fans but also because of the brutal reality of simulcasting and remote wagering. It sucks, but there's no way the sport can economically support all the tracks that are still running.
dilanesp is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 12:55 PM   #3
Dave Schwartz
 
Dave Schwartz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 15,093
Quote:
Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
It's certainly a failure for the sport. Not only is Chicago a massive media market where you want to have a premier track, as well as a place with a longstanding horse racing tradition, but Arlington was rebuilt after the mid-'80's fire as what was supposed to be a prototype for the modern racetrack. It was a palace. In that sense, it would be as if the Orioles moved out of Camden Yards.

But whenever this happens (and I lost my favorite track, Hollywood Park, in 2013), I always remind myself that the economics of the sport require significant contraction, both because we have fewer fans but also because of the brutal reality of simulcasting and remote wagering. It sucks, but there's no way the sport can economically support all the tracks that are still running.
As always, from you, a reality-based response.

The problems in racing all began back in the '80s. While ESPN was trying to expand the market of every sport, horse racing chose to guard its signal.
Did you know that until 1987 horse racing was the #1 spectator sport in the WORLD?
ESPN gave all the other sports multiple streams of income on a massive scale.

Racing's lack of organization has run itself into the ground.

Very sad.
Dave Schwartz is online now   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 01:47 PM   #4
exactatom
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 165
The potential for this market is unlike any other. The plant would allow for one of the state's largest casinos as well as have the draw of world class racing.

What is unforgivable is that CDI is only interested in horse racing 2 days a year. They got the local horsemen for years to accept concessions with the promise of future purse increases once the racetracks could have house casinos. What did CDI do? They refused to even apply for a casino license.

The gutless media that covers this sport needs to expose this organization for what it is.

This is not like Hollywood or Calder where there was a world class facility in the same town. Hawthorne is a dramatic step down in all aspects from Arlington.

Churchill needs to be held accountable and make this situation right for the horsemen.
exactatom is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 02:08 PM   #5
alydar
Registered User
 
alydar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 670
A sad but foreseeable outcome. Once CD passed on the casino license for the location, you knew its days were numbered. I spent many days there. I can honestly say it is one of the nicest tracks in the country. A facility that is just beautiful, where you see casual racing fans and families on weekends. Although Illinois racing has seen a sharp decline in the last 15 years this facility is still a palace.

In the last 15 years we have seen harness racing disappear from Chicagoland except for the Hawthorne meet and now this.

I would note that the Carey family has been the saving grace for the sport in Chicagoland. What the facility lacks in beauty and charm is somewhat made up for the family's dedication to preserving racing in the area.

It is true that the economics of racing is forcing many of these decisions, but I do believe a better outcome was possible for Chicagoland racing. A real shame.
alydar is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 02:23 PM   #6
classhandicapper
Registered User
 
classhandicapper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 16,818
The land on which tracks operate is typically worth much more if it's used for other things. The only way to fix that is to increase handle and bottom line per remaining track very significantly.
__________________
"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned." Fast Eddie Felson
classhandicapper is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 02:29 PM   #7
classhandicapper
Registered User
 
classhandicapper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 16,818
Quote:
Although Illinois racing has seen a sharp decline in the last 15 years this facility is still a palace.
I don't play Arlington except for on the big turf day. I wonder how much of that was related to staying with a synthetic surface. Once the majors starting switching back to dirt, Arlington starting feeling more like a 3rd tier track than a 2nd tier track to me. I never even looked.
__________________
"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned." Fast Eddie Felson
classhandicapper is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 02:36 PM   #8
dilanesp
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 7,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by classhandicapper View Post
I don't play Arlington except for on the big turf day. I wonder how much of that was related to staying with a synthetic surface. Once the majors starting switching back to dirt, Arlington starting feeling more like a 3rd tier track than a 2nd tier track to me. I never even looked.
There's a counter-example, which is that even though Golden Gate had the synthetic track, Bay Meadows closed.

I don't know that much about Chicago real estate but it wouldn't surprise me if a big plot of land in Arlington Heights has greater redevelopment value than Hawthorne does. And also Hawthorne can host harness races and Arlington, as a 9 furlong track, can't. So there are other factors here.
dilanesp is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 03:15 PM   #9
cj
@TimeformUSfigs
 
cj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Moore, OK
Posts: 44,885
Quote:
Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
There's a counter-example, which is that even though Golden Gate had the synthetic track, Bay Meadows closed.

I don't know that much about Chicago real estate but it wouldn't surprise me if a big plot of land in Arlington Heights has greater redevelopment value than Hawthorne does. And also Hawthorne can host harness races and Arlington, as a 9 furlong track, can't. So there are other factors here.
Bay Meadows couldn 't afford to put in a synthetic track, petitioned to run on dirt, but it was denied by the CHRB. They basically forced it to close and of course we know how synthetics in California turned out. Point is they didn't close because it was a dirt track. It was because they weren't allowed to remain a dirt track.
cj is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 03:23 PM   #10
dilanesp
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 7,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj View Post
Bay Meadows couldn 't afford to put in a synthetic track, petitioned to run on dirt, but it was denied by the CHRB. They basically forced it to close and of course we know how synthetics in California turned out. Point is they didn't close because it was a dirt track. It was because they weren't allowed to remain a dirt track.
That's not the actual reason Bay Meadows closed, cj. They were owned by the same company that closed Hollywood Park, and which INSTALLED a synthetic track at Hollywood Park. The owner bought the two tracks for the purpose of closing them. So they were going to close whether or not they got a dispensation to keep their dirt track.

The most important reason Bay Meadows closed is because land on the peninsula, fairly close to Silicon Valley and SFO airport, is just enormously valuable now.
dilanesp is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 03:33 PM   #11
castaway01
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NJ
Posts: 3,408
Ironically, part of the reason Arlington failed was their massive, beautiful facility. They build a "palace" at the exact time racing was starting to move away from live attendance and they had to maintain it. Couple that with an inability to get a casino license and the decision to go synthetic, and Arlington has been dying a slow death for 20 years now.
castaway01 is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 04:41 PM   #12
classhandicapper
Registered User
 
classhandicapper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 16,818
Quote:
Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
There's a counter-example, which is that even though Golden Gate had the synthetic track, Bay Meadows closed.

I don't know CA racing anywhere near as well as you, but the same thing holds true for me. When the racing switches over to LRC I sometimes take a look at the weekend stakes. I never look at GG even if they are running one of their stakes.

I was never in the anti synthetic crowd, but once the industry reversed course in CA and at KEE, I simply stopped paying attention to synthetic racing anywhere. The only time I look at WO is if there are major turf races. There have to be other people like me that threw in the towel on Arlington for that reason.
__________________
"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned." Fast Eddie Felson
classhandicapper is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 04:54 PM   #13
dilanesp
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 7,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by castaway01 View Post
Ironically, part of the reason Arlington failed was their massive, beautiful facility. They build a "palace" at the exact time racing was starting to move away from live attendance and they had to maintain it.
I think that's right. Had the fire happened in 1996, they would have rebuilt far smaller but with a luxurious simulcast facility or something.
dilanesp is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 05:13 PM   #14
cj
@TimeformUSfigs
 
cj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Moore, OK
Posts: 44,885
Quote:
Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
That's not the actual reason Bay Meadows closed, cj. They were owned by the same company that closed Hollywood Park, and which INSTALLED a synthetic track at Hollywood Park. The owner bought the two tracks for the purpose of closing them. So they were going to close whether or not they got a dispensation to keep their dirt track.

The most important reason Bay Meadows closed is because land on the peninsula, fairly close to Silicon Valley and SFO airport, is just enormously valuable now.
Of course the land was more valuable. But why go through the motions of trying to race on dirt if they didn't plan to do it? I'm sure it would have been sold eventually but I don't think it was imminent before the synthetic mandate. Can say the same of a lot of tracks out there now.

As for Arlington, switching to synthetic dropped it off the radar for a lot of handicappers in my opinion. It is one thing when the whole circuit is synthetic like SoCal was or for tracks that are isolated like Woodbine and Presque Isle. But people lose interest when horses are switching back and forth from dirt to synth every few months and it becomes more of a guessing game than handicapping.
cj is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Old 02-24-2021, 05:30 PM   #15
dilanesp
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 7,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj View Post
Of course the land was more valuable. But why go through the motions of trying to race on dirt if they didn't plan to do it? I'm sure it would have been sold eventually but I don't think it was imminent before the synthetic mandate. Can say the same of a lot of tracks out there now.
The basic approach of the Bay Meadows Operating Company, with both Bay Meadows and Hollywood Park, was to take the time necessary to put together a lucrative development deal. They didn't want a fire sale. In the meantime, they held a horse racing license, so why not race? And that's what they did. They raced at San Mateo until they put together a lucrative deal, and they also raced at Hollywood until they put together one.

The obvious reason to try to race on dirt was it was cheaper. It cost several million dollars to put in a synthetic track, and that wasn't cost-effective up north because they were going to close earlier. It was cost-effective at Hollywood, so they did it.

Quote:
As for Arlington, switching to synthetic dropped it off the radar for a lot of handicappers in my opinion. It is one thing when the whole circuit is synthetic like SoCal was or for tracks that are isolated like Woodbine and Presque Isle. But people lose interest when horses are switching back and forth from dirt to synth every few months and it becomes more of a guessing game than handicapping.
While I don't doubt there's truth to this, it's also a bit weird. Handicappers should welcome things that make the game more difficult, because these are the sorts of things that produce betting angles.
dilanesp is offline   Reply With Quote Reply
Reply




Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

» Advertisement
» Current Polls
preferred pick 5 type
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 1999 - 2021 -- PaceAdvantage.Com -- All Rights Reserved
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program
designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.