Will Preakness stay at Pimlico in coming years?
BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- Just days until one of the largest events in sports and there are still questions on whether Preakness will stay at Pimlico.
The Stronach Group's Chief Operating Officer, Tim Ritvo, says there is no question that Preakness is staying Maryland, but the future at Pimlico depends on a complete overhaul.
Equine veterinarian Elizabeth Paternotte loves the week leading up to Preakness, “I’ve been here every year,” she says. However, even she will admit the track needs updating. “It needs help on the back side where the horses live and the trainers compete and train” Paternotte says, “And the ground surfaces need to be more consistent for the animals and to draw people in it needs a few updates.”
More than just “a few,” according to Ritvo. He says, “It’s frustrating that every year we throw this spectacular event and the talk is are you staying, leaving are we going to rebuild?”
A recent report estimated it would cost $300 million dollars to retrofit the track. Ritvo says even that estimate is conservative. The Stronach Group would like a complete rebuild. “The racing game has evolved and a lot is high end dining experience, great food, great dress, It’s hard to do in a building you can’t build on because structurally we have problems and the bathrooms and electrical, everything is so old. We’ve done as good as we could for as long as we could. Now it’s time to face reality and say what can we do to make this experience better?”
The Group is hoping next year's legislative session will give them some answers on the State's commitment to the track.
Paternotte placing her bets on Pimlico, “I want it to stay here because that's the way it’s always been.”