NYRA Board hears wide-ranging report from Kay in regular meeting
By Jenny Kellner | 05/28/2014 12:47 PM ET
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) Reorganization Board of Directors, meeting in New York City today, heard a comprehensive report from CEO and President Christopher Kay, who focused on major steps taken towards enhancing the guest experience, improving the quality of racing and creating a successful reorganization plan for privatization.
Kay detailed an outstanding day of racing on Belmont Stakes Day, June 7, with 10 stakes races - including six Grade 1s - on a 13-race card worth $8 million, making it the second-richest day in North American racing. In light of continued brisk ticket sales, Kay urged guests to buy grandstand ($10) and clubhouse ($30) general admission tickets now (available at www.ticketmaster.com). Kay also said there will be an additional 230-seat pavilion erected to accommodate the tremendous demand for premium seating, along with additional bleacher seating at the West end of the grandstand.
Kay also discussed the creation of a substantially different entertainment experience for Belmont Stakes Day guests, including performances by LL COOL J, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Bernie Williams, United States Military Academy (USMA) musicians from West Point and a cast member from the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit WICKED, as well as enhanced food and beverage options and the creation of upscale dining areas.
In addition, he discussed other "big day" events coming up at Belmont Park, including the newly created "Stars & Stripes Day" on July 5, featuring an internationally flavored card with $4 million in purses.
Introduced to the Board were NYRA's new Senior Vice-President and Chief Experience Officer Lynn LaRocca along with Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Joseph Lambert. LaRocca will be responsible for every aspect of NYRA's relationship with its guests. Kay said that Lambert's significant experience will be highly relevant to NYRA's reorganization efforts.
The Board heard additional reports from Chair David J. Skorton and CFO Susanne Stover, who outlined $14 million in improvements at Aqueduct Racetrack for a three-year period beginning in 2014. The Board also heard reports from the Audit and Compliance Committee, the Finance Committee and the Long Term Planning Committee.
In other business, the Board accepted the resignation of member Jane Rosenthal.
All materials discussed and reviewed during the Board's meetings, replays of past meetings and a list of Board members are available here.
About the NYRA Board: The NYRA Board consists of 17 directors: eight appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo; two directors each appointed by the New York State Senate and Assembly; and five directors appointed by the former NYRA Board. Breeders and horsemen each have an ex officio member. The NYRA Board is in effect through October 2015, following which NYRA will revert back to majority private control. Seven of the appointees bring experience from the entertainment, finance, and legal fields in addition to horse racing.