NYRA to return additional picnic space to fans by eliminating Paddock Tent at Saratoga Race Course
by Pat McKenna, Mark Bardack
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that it will increase the amount of green space available to fans by removing the group hospitality tent positioned alongside the paddock at Saratoga Race Course.
The removal of the Paddock Tent, which has been a permanent fixture at Saratoga for more than a decade, will return 240-square feet of picnic space to fans where they can enjoy an unimpeded view of the historic Saratoga paddock.
The Paddock Tent will be eliminated prior to the start of the 2020 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, which will begin on Opening Day, Thursday, July 16 and run through Labor Day, Monday, September 7.
"A great deal of what makes Saratoga so special is the ability to see both the horses and jockeys up close. We are removing the Paddock Tent in order to offer more fans the exciting opportunity to watch these incredible athletes as they parade through the paddock prior to each race," said NYRA CEO and President Dave O'Rourke.
The Saratoga Local Advisory Board enthusiastically endorsed the decision to give back to the fans a significant portion of real estate at Saratoga.
"The fans at Saratoga are instrumental in making Saratoga such a special and treasured place," said Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board Chairman Joseph A. Torani. "We applaud NYRA for making it possible for an even greater number of fans to enjoy an unobstructed view of the paddock."
The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation also endorsed the tent's removal.
"The landscape of the paddock is a significant historic feature of the Saratoga Race Course. We are very pleased that the large tent is being removed, allowing the green space and important views of the paddock and original saddling shed to be restored," said Samantha Bosshart, executive director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation.
Following Opening Weekend, July 16-19, racing will be conducted five days per week, Wednesdays through Sundays. The final day of the season will be Labor Day, Monday, September 7.
Details about group hospitality offerings and reservations for the 2020 summer meet will be available in early March.
For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com/Saratoga.