(Baltimore, MD) — As the 144th Preakness Stakes approaches, and in light of the recent Maryland Stadium Authority study that concluded that after more than 100 years, Pimlico Race Course had “reached the end of its useful life,” the Maryland Jockey Club engaged a Baltimore based independent engineering firm, Faisant Associates, to assess the facility to determine how this may impact our guests on Preakness Day.
Faisant Associates concluded that there has been significant deterioration to the northern part of the grandstand, the exterior portion of the facility adjacent to the Clubhouse. The northern grandstand is the old oldest portion of the structure dating back more than a century, with seating capacity for 6,670 guests, and is no longer suitable to sustain that level of load bearing weight.
As the safety and security of all guests and employees at Pimlico is paramount, the Maryland Jockey Club made the difficult decision to close that section of the grandstand for this year’s Preakness Stakes. The closure is in effect for the full Pimlico meet including the Preakness Stakes and Black Eyed Susan Day.
“It is deeply disappointing for us and the affected ticket-holders that at a peak moment in time when we generate the most amount of income for the industry, for our company and for all stakeholders, and when we are poised to welcome racing fans to Preakness, we have to de-commission 6,670 seats,” said Bill Hecht, CEO, U.S. Real Estate for The Stronach Group, owners of the Maryland Jockey Club. “As the safety and security is paramount to our guests and employees, this position to forego income should in no way be interpreted as anything other than that.”
Ticket-holders who have purchased tickets for that section of the grandstand for this year’s Preakness will be able to trade in their tickets at face value for similar seating. Ticket-holders may exchange teir tickets by calling 1-877-206-8042 between now and May 1st.
About The Stronach Group
The Stronach Group (TSG) is a world-class technology, entertainment and real estate development company with Thoroughbred racing and pari-mutuel wagering at the core. TSG encompasses five distinct business areas that are inter-related and supportive of each other, enabling TSG to be the most dominant player in the Thoroughbred horse racing industry in the United States, with business relations around the globe. TSG business areas include Technology, Entertainment, Racing, Real Estate Development and Agriculture.
TSG is dedicated to delivering the best in class Thoroughbred racing content and operations. The company holds some of the greatest brands in the industry, including Southern California’s Santa Anita Park, “The Great Race Place”; South Florida’s Gulfstream Park, home to the US $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series and retail destination, The Village at Gulfstream Park; Pimlico Race Course, home of the legendary Preakness Stakes, Laurel Park and Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland; Oregon’s Portland Meadows; and the San Francisco Bay Area’s, Golden Gate Fields. TSG is a leader in digital and mobile wagering technology through its subsidiaries AmTote and Xpressbet and is a major distributor of horse racing content to a global audience through Monarch Content Management. Please visit www.stronachgroup.com for more information.