NYRA to construct new backstretch housing at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course
by Pat McKenna
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced a commitment to construct new residential buildings at Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course designed to provide additional housing options for the backstretch community. These projects build on NYRA’s multi-year, $40 million campaign to modernize and improve backstretch housing and facilities at Belmont and Saratoga.
“These major capital improvements will reflect NYRA’s unwavering commitment to the backstretch community in New York,” said NYRA President & CEO David O’Rourke. “That is why we will continue to devote the resources, time, and attention necessary to construct more new housing in the next three years than at any point in NYRA’s history.”
Following design review and approval from the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, NYRA will construct a residence adjacent to the lowlands on the Oklahoma Training Track side of Saratoga Race Course. Use of the Oklahoma as a training center and base of operations has grown significantly in recent years, which necessitated the complete renovation of the facility in 2021. The new building will transform the housing stock available to the backstretch community working at the Oklahoma Training Track.
In addition to the construction of this new residence, NYRA will continue to renovate and modernize existing housing on both the Oklahoma and main track sides of Saratoga Race Course this year and in the future, with new dormitory construction planned for Saratoga in both 2024 and 2025.
When complete, these new residences will represent the most significant upgrade to backstretch housing in the history of Saratoga Race Course.
At Belmont Park, NYRA will construct a new residence to provide updated housing for the 1,000 people living and working at Belmont throughout the year. The NYRA backstretch improvement campaign has resulted in the construction of two new dormitories at Belmont since 2016 along with the renovation of the majority of the existing housing at Belmont.
NYRA will commence substantial work on these two new residential buildings in the fall of 2023 with construction to be completed in 2024.