Maryland workgroup would make recommendations on Pimlico

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Feb. 7, 2019

Legislation creating a workgroup to study and make recommendations based upon a Maryland Stadium Authority report on the revitalization of Pimlico Race Course has been introduced in the state Senate.

The bill, filed by Sen. Antonio Hayes, who represents the city of Baltimore, requires the workgroup to make recommendations regarding the financial options for the implementation of Phase 2 of the study, which put the price tag for a rebuild of the racetrack at a minimum of $420 million. The MSA didn’t offer funding recommendations in the first or second phases of the report.

The legislation, filed on behalf of the Baltimore City Administration, was reported to the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, which is scheduled to hear it March 6.

The workgroup would report its findings and recommendations to Gov. Larry Hogan and the General Assembly. The workgroup would be made up as follows: two representatives of the state of Maryland appointed by the governor; two representatives of the city of Baltimore appointed by the mayor; two representatives of the Maryland Jockey Club appointed by The Stronach Group; and the chair of the Maryland Stadium Authority or a designee of the chair.

The MSA would provide staff for the workgroup, which would consult with horsemen, breeders and neighborhoods surrounding Pimlico; assess the economic impact of Phase 2 of the MSA report; study the feasibility of various financing options for implementation of the Phase 2 report; and make recommendations on financing the project.

The deadline for the workgroup to submit its findings and recommendations is Dec. 1, 2019. The city of Baltimore has the same deadline to report “on the total amount of funding available from tax increment financing for infrastructure improvements related to the construction of the Pimlico Race Course facility,” the legislation states.

The MSA cost breakdown of a total rebuild of the racetrack is $21.5 million for demolition and site clearing; $120.5 million for infrastructure, utilities and site improvements; $29.6 million for racing surfaces and the infield; and $252.2 million for the clubhouse.

Maryland Stadium Authority releases Phase 2 of Pimlico study

(Pimlico Race Course photo by Tom LaMarra)