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The New York Racing Association, Inc. announces plans for array of improvements for 2014 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course

By Jenny Kellner | 06/24/2014 10:31 AM ET
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Saratoga Race Course
PHOTO/Adam Coglianese

Community leaders underscore need for strong and economically vibrant Saratoga Race Course

The New York Racing Association, Inc. will invest $1.9 million at Saratoga Race Course for a series of capital improvements designed to enhance the customer experience during the 2014 summer meet.

The plans include the addition of hundreds of high-definition television sets throughout the facility, new high-definition large-screen video boards, an enhanced sound system, improved wireless capabilities, an increase in the number of picnic tables for the backyard, upgrades to the restrooms, and a new entertainment area for families that will include an expanded event tent.

“We want our guests to have a great experience when they come to Saratoga Race Course,” said The New York Racing Association, Inc. CEO and President Chris Kay. “We appreciate this treasured venue and are investing in it for all horse racing fans who cherish their visit to Saratoga.”

The lineup of capital improvements planned for Saratoga Race Course this summer includes the following elements:

High-definition televisions: Approximately 500 new high-definition televisions, ranging in size from 19 to 70 inches, will be installed throughout the facility, including in the popular backyard area, the exterior grounds near the grandstand and clubhouse, clubhouse box seats, and the interior of the grandstand and clubhouse, including all dining, bar and mutuel areas.

Video walls: Large new video walls will be installed in three highly-populated grandstand areas – the paddock, the outdoor mutuel bay, and near the Carousel Restaurant – for enhanced, high-definition video display of races and other information.

Sound system: An enhanced sound system will allow for improved transmission of race calls, announcements, video programming, and winner’s circle events.

Picnic tables: An additional 100 picnic tables will be added in select areas of the backyard. Available to all guests at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis, the picnic tables have become popular party settings for families and friends during live racing.

Trakus: The high-tech system that enables fans and television viewers to easily track their horse’s position throughout a race will be launched at Saratoga Race Course in 2014.

Saratoga Pavilion: Home to a number of on-track events, the Saratoga Pavilion located inside the Reserved Seats Box Office entrance will be expanded to 40 by 70 feet and feature improved flooring and electricity.

Child-friendly entertainment: In addition to the many regular family fun activities, the highly popular playground area will be expanded so that kids have more room to play on the various pieces of equipment. Separately, the backyard will have a new, dedicated area where children can visit with and touch one of Saratoga’s outrider horses and learn about a horse’s daily routines and activities.

Wi-Fi: After monitoring areas of high density Wi-Fi usage on-track last year, capacity in high volume areas will be quadrupled for 2014 in order to improve service and minimize connectivity delays.

Restrooms: Select restrooms at Saratoga Race Course will experience a number of renovations and upgrades, including new fixtures, mirrors, paint and more.

Outdoor dining: The popular Saratoga Porch dining area, open for breakfast and lunch, will be expanded to provide more tables offering a close-up view of the races.

“The operation of Saratoga Race Course generates an annual economic impact of more than $200 million across the greater Capital Region,” said Kay. “Numerous businesses, large and small, including the vast network of retail, restaurant and hospitality establishments, depend on Saratoga Race Course as an economic resource and engine. We’re trying to develop a sustainable business plan to ensure that we generate enough revenue to cover our costs so that we can remain a vital economic source for the community for many years to come. These enhancements are designed to create a better overall experience for our fans.”

The summer meet at Saratoga Race Course begins on Friday, July 18 and concludes on Labor Day, Monday, September 1. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, call (518) 584-6200 or log onto www.nyra.com.

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