(Ground Breaking ceremony for the “new and improved” Turfway Park / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team:
Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or “Company”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) broke ground today on a $145 million, state-of-the-art, live Thoroughbred and historical horse racing venue as part of the Company’s plans to revitalize Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky. The project is part of CDI’s ongoing efforts to strengthen and bring innovation to Kentucky’s signature horse racing industry and will be called Turfway Park Racing & Gaming (“Turfway”).
Speakers at today’s ceremony included The Honorable Andy Beshear, Governor of Kentucky; Senator John Schickel; Representative Adam Koenig; The Honorable Diane Whalen, Mayor of Florence, Kentucky; Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI; and Chip Bach, General Manager of Turfway.
CDI acquired Turfway Park in October 2019 and immediately commenced demolition of the existing grandstand following the close of the 2019-2020 race meet. In March 2020, Turfway’s existing Polytrack was replaced with a new $5.6 million Tapeta synthetic track, one of the world’s leading surfaces for racing and training. The final phase of development and construction will include a new grandstand, a pari-mutuel gaming entertainment floor featuring up to 1,500 historical racing machines, a state-of-the-art clubhouse, the largest simulcast wagering area in the state with VIP player amenities, an 18,500 sq. ft. event center, as well as several food and beverage venues.
“Today is an exciting day and a very special day for our Company. We are pleased to begin this final phase in building a premier facility at Turfway Park that will restore the racetrack to its former glory,” said Bill Carstanjen. “This project will revitalize the Kentucky winter Thoroughbred racing circuit as well as fuel the health of the Commonwealth’s entire signature horse industry. There are many people who are a part of this community and a part of this state who are the unsung heroes in making this project happen.”
“We are here to celebrate the groundbreaking of Turfway Park Racing & Gaming, which represents the next chapter in a brighter future for horseracing in Kentucky,” said Governor Beshear. “I want to thank the entire team at Churchill Downs, Incorporated for bringing this project to this point. We’re just in the starting gate, but the race that this facility and this area is about to run is going to be long and it’s going to be successful.”
“The impact of this project on the Northern Kentucky economy cannot be understated. Additionally, the overall impact on Kentucky’s horse industry and, consequently, our entire economy is dramatic,” shared
Kentucky Speaker of the House, David W. Osborne. “Turfway Park’s return to racing prominence secures and enhances Kentucky’s year-round racing circuit and will result in the return of horses and the investments of owners, breeders and trainers from around the country.”
The redevelopment of Turfway is anticipated to support up to 400 direct full and part-time positions and create an estimated 800 direct construction jobs. More information regarding job fairs and hiring will be released in the coming months. Turfway’s grand opening is expected in the summer of 2022.