The Arlington race track is closing due to numerous factors, primarily stemming from a decision by the Illinois Racing Board to not renew their operating license. The decision marks a dramatic shift in the landscape of horse racing in the state, as the track had been in operation since 1927 and has served as one of the premier sites of thoroughbred horse racing.
The track has been in decline in recent years, as attendance and revenue have been low. This has pushed the track to consider alternative sources of revenue, such as leasing the property for other uses, including simulcast and remote betting, concerts, and other events.
But this has not been enough to keep the track afloat, and when the license to operate stalls came up for renewal, the Racing Board refused to renew.
The decline of horse racing in the U. S. has been well documented, with many tracks closing and racetracks around the country struggling to find ways to remain profitable. This situation has only been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a sharp decline in overall interest in horse racing events.
With the decision to not renew the license for the Arlington race track, it appears that the decline of the sport of horse racing in the state of Illinois has been sealed.
What is happening to Arlington Park race track?
Arlington Park is a major Thoroughbred horse racing track located near Chicago, Illinois. The track was opened in 1927 and has hosted the Arlington Million, the first million-dollar horse race, since 1981.
In 2021, the future of Arlington Park has been uncertain.
In the summer of 2020, after being shut down for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Arlington Park began hosting racing events again with limited attendance. Race days were limited to Friday and Saturday and without an on-track presence of fans.
However, following a brief period of successful operations, discussions between the Illinois Racing Board and Churchill Downs broke down, ending in the cancelling of Arlington’s fall meet and a lawsuit filed by Churchill Downs against the Board.
As of 2021, the future of Arlington Park is uncertain. It is currently allowed to host races but only with limited attendance and minimal betting. While the track continues to apply for a 2021 meet, the short-term fate of the park is unknown.
Churchill Downs has indicated that they will prioritize racing operations at their new Fairgrounds Race Course in New Orleans and their other venues in Kentucky over Arlington Park.
In the long-term, officials from Arlington Park and Churchill Downs are exploring various strategies in an effort to ensure the future of racing in the Chicago area. These strategies include rebuilding Arlington Park, adding a racing season for Illinois-bred horses, and exploring possibilities for off-track betting opportunities.
The Illinois Racing Board is also exploring building a new, state-of-the-art track and from this the various parties hope to form a plan of action to ensure a vibrant future for horse racing in the region.
Are the Bears going to buy Arlington race track?
At this point in time, it appears that the Chicago Bears are not planning to purchase the Arlington Race Track. According to the Chicago Tribune, the team’s thought process is focused primarily on a Lakeside Development project that includes a redevelopment effort of an area bordering Lake Michigan in the city, which is estimated to cost between $6 and $7 billion.
However, it appears that the team, and Arlington Heights officials, have had preliminary discussions about the potential of the Bears having a presence at the race track. Should the Bears decide to pursue the purchase of the track, it could mean the team could expand their Lake Shore facility to include a football-inspired venue in the area.
Ultimately, though, any plan for purchasing the Arlington Race Track likely won’t happen until the tribe’s negotiations to build a $350 million casino in the area are resolved.
Why is Churchill Downs selling Arlington Park?
Churchill Downs, the owner of Arlington Park, announced it was selling the racetrack in January, 2021. The decision was made due to Church Downs’ priorities shifting from racing and into more gaming investments, mostly in the South.
Churchill Downs wants to focus on initiatives that are expected to provide a greater return on investment. The sale of Arlington Park would also provide additional funds for their other gaming investments.
Additionally, Churchill Downs has become more involved in gaming initiatives and horse racing markets outside of the state of Illinois. These initiatives include the launch of Sports Wagering Businesses and the acquisition of Otb Network in Pennsylvania.
As these gaming strategies have proven to be profitable and are highly sought after by investors, the sale of Arlington Park allows Churchill Downs to capitalize on them and better serve their clients.
Overall, Churchill Downs prioritizing gaming investments in the south and efforts to expand their operations outside of Illinois are the main reasons for selling Arlington Park. The sale allows them to better focus on their gaming initiatives and gain more capital for other investments.
Has Arlington Park Race Track been sold?
No, Arlington Park Race Track has not been sold. It is still owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), as of July 2020. CDI is a publicly traded company that has owned and operated the racetrack since 1989.
Originally, the track was owned by a corporate arm of the Arnold family, who purchased it from the estate of Theodore Gaines. CDI began leasing the property in 1985 and eventually purchased it from the Arnolds in 1989.
Since that time, the racetrack has been one of CDI’s most successful properties. In 2003, the track underwent significant renovations, adding a new grandstand, a clubhouse and a track-side entertainment area.
It has since served as a sites for hosting several renowned races, including the Arlington Million, the Arlington Classic and the Beverly D Stakes. Furthermore, the facility also has a popular simulcasting operation and viedo gaming parlor.
Are they closing Arlington Park?
At this time, it appears that Arlington Park is still open. The popular racetrack, located in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, has been operating for more than 85 years, and currently hosts a range of events such as thoroughbred horse racing and other forms of entertainment.
While the park has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still open and operating in a socially distanced capacity, with limited capacity and other health and safety measures in place to ensure the safest possible environment.
In addition, the track is typically open through the month of October, so barring any unforeseen shutdowns due to COVID-19, Arlington Park should remain open for the foreseeable future.
Is Arlington Race Track still in business?
No, Arlington Race Track is no longer in business. It was a racetrack located near Chicago, Illinois, that opened in 1927 and closed in September of 1998. The track hosted thoroughbred and harness racing events for more than 70 years.
The track hosted several prestigious races including the Arlington Million, which was the first thoroughbred race to ever offer a purse of more than $1 million. The track was also the host of the American Derby, the Beverly D.
, the Secretariat Stakes, and the Arlington-Washington Futurity.
Although the track is closed, the Arlington International Racecourse still exists as a multi-venue entertainment and event center. It holds events for weddings, corporate events, family outings, live music, and more.
The racecourse also offers multiple dining options, a golf course, and easy access to the Chicago city center.
Why is Arlington International Racecourse closing?
Arlington International Racecourse, a Thoroughbred horse racing venue in Arlington Heights, Illinois, announced in July 2020 that it would not have a 2020 racing season due to financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, the track has also announced that its 2020 meet will be its final season and will close permanently starting on September 30, 2020.
The closure of these racetracks has been a major blow for horse racing enthusiasts in the greater Chicago area, many of whom frequent Arlington International Racecourse and others. The decision to close the track was made due to drastically reduced revenue following the closure of state-run casinos, which has created financial difficulties and uncertainty due to the economic impact of the global pandemic.
Unfortunately, these losses have affected the track’s ability to provide a safe and viable environment for racing, and the track’s owners were ultimately left with no other choice but to close the track.
The closure of Arlington International Racecourse marks the end of a historic era for the racetrack, which opened in 1927 and is the oldest continuously operating racetrack in North America. Its closure is also a significant loss for the sport of horse racing, with the venue having been a major contributor to the sport for many years.