Posted: March 2, 2018
The New York Racing Association March 1 announced a major capital improvement project at Saratoga Race Course designed to create an enhanced hospitality area for racing fans and revitalize the section of the grandstand near the top of the stretch.
“The Stretch,” located in the grandstand, will debut on July 20, opening day of the 2018 Saratoga meet, and marks the first significant enhancement to the structure since the mid-1960s. It’s an all-new private hospitality area featuring modern and upscale amenities in a casual environment with views of horses rounding the final turn as they enter the dramatic stretch run.
Highlights of the area include three types of boxes available in multiple configurations, a high-end raised circular bar, touchscreen tablets, and new premium reserved seating. The Stretch, which will have a relaxed dress code, will offer guests exclusive access to a full-service kitchen and concessions, high-definition televisions and video screens, special events, table service, and private restrooms.
Since 2013, NYRA has invested more than $30 million at Saratoga in efforts continuously designed to enhance the guest experience and provide amenities that are consistent with those available at first-class stadiums and arenas.
There are 1,000 new high-definition televisions throughout the property; 950 picnic tables available for free on a first-come, first-serve basis in the backyard; new high-definition video boards; enhanced Wi-Fi and sound systems; a renovated and redesigned Saratoga Family Zone; and the renovation of the upper and lower Carousel, amongst other items.
“Over the past five years, we have placed a tremendous emphasis on enhancing the guest experience at this much beloved sporting venue,” NYRA President Christopher Kay said.
In 2018, the grandstand will also be outfitted with a new copper roof which will offer protection from the elements and improve the experience for guests.
“The new copper roof will protect the grandstand from weather damage and provide an aesthetic experience in keeping with the building’s historic character,” said Matt Hurff, a partner at the Saratoga Springs-based Frost Hurff Architects, which serves as a consultant to NYRA. “The Stretch will offer guests the best of both worlds—modern, comfortable and technologically-advanced amenities, seamlessly integrated into the charm of America’s oldest continuously operating racecourse.”
The Stretch will have 32 new modern boxes for four to 12 guests compared to five in the clubhouse. It will also have an upscale circular bar and food service.
(Rendering of The Stretch courtesy of NYRA)