by Pat McKenna/Mark Bardack
*For photos from today's ceremonial groundbreaking event, as well as an exterior rendering, visit http://bit.ly/2oCcX5I*
*For a video rendering of the 1863 Club, visit https://youtu.be/2cLxEvgUOHY*
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today hosted a
ceremonial groundbreaking for the 1863 Club, the permanent, new building to be
located at the site of the current At the Rail Pavilion at Saratoga Race
The 1863 Club is named in honor of the year of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August 1863.
The 1863 Club will replace the seasonal tent and trailers at the end of the Clubhouse with a 36,000-square foot, three-story, climate-controlled building featuring differentiated hospitality options and modern amenities. In addition to the three floors of usable space for guests, the building will be equipped with a full-service kitchen.
"Following this year's introduction of The Stretch in the Grandstand, we are excited to announce plans for the 1863 Club which will be located at the end of the Clubhouse and will add another chapter to the enhanced guest experience at Saratoga. The three-story, air-conditioned building will provide new and different options for guests, including a banquet area on the first floor and a dining club and bar on the second level, which will be connected to the Clubhouse via a walkway. The third floor will feature true luxury boxes with a great view of the entire track," said NYRA CEO & President Chris Kay. "The 1863 Club, named after our first racing meet in Saratoga, continues our commitment to providing racing fans with upgraded amenities while honoring the look and feel of this historic venue."
NYRA executives were joined by the project's contractors and architects for the groundbreaking, which was held one day after the conclusion of the 2018 Saratoga meet.
The event took place inside the soon to be replaced At the Rail Pavilion with representatives from Gilbane Building Company, with offices in Albany, NY; Saratoga County-based MLB Construction Services; Saratoga Springs-based Frost Hurff Architects; and New York-based SOSH Architects. The project partners joined NYRA executives and local elected officials in marking the ceremonial launch of construction on the new building.
"Gilbane is proud to be part of the project team that will successfully design and build the 1863 Club at Saratoga Race Course. We appreciate the opportunity that has been given to us by NYRA and look forward to collaborating with our project partners to deliver a best-in-class project at one of the world's most popular and most historic sports venues," said Bill Gilbane III, Senior Vice President of Gilbane Building Company.
"It is a privilege to work on this project, which we consider one of our pinnacle accomplishments. Saratoga Race Course is a venue steeped in history and we are honored to have a stake in this tremendous project. We look forward to working with NYRA and the rest of the team to bring the 1863 Club to life," said Jim Dawsey, President of MLB Construction Services, LLC.
"Saratoga Race Course is an iconic sporting venue rightly celebrated around the world for its history and traditions," said Nory Hazaweh, founding principal of SOSH Architects. "That is why the entire team at SOSHNY is so honored to be able to contribute our expertise to the design of the 1863 Club. This venue is architecturally significant in so many ways, and we are proud that this new building will honor that history while providing modern amenities amidst a variety of differentiated hospitality options. We thank NYRA for the opportunity and look forward to seeing the completion of this exciting project."
Guests interested in being a part of the inaugural season at the 1863 Club are invited to contact the NYRA Sales Office by phone at 518-693-7655 or online at NYRA.com/1863Club.
For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com.