Horsemen are focusing their efforts on saving racing at Arlington Park, putting forth their own bids to purchase the property from Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI).
In a report by two sources to Horse Racing Nation, Mayor Thomas Hayes of Arlington Heights confirmed that there were additional proposals for the purchase of the 326-acre property. Those horsemen were countering offers made by former track president Roy Arnold.
"I knew there were two groups that were interested," Mayor Hayes said Friday morning. "The more ideas that they can come up with in terms of making horse racing viable, that in the long term I think is a good thing."
Who were the horsemen placing their bids? Such names were not revealed by Mayor Hayes. Nevertheless, he expressed how involved local interests would factor in this process.
"They understand some of the things we've actually put in place to prohibit certain types of uses – warehouses and gas stations and massage parlors and things like that," Hayes said. "It's ultimately going to be Churchill Downs' decision. We're trying to be as involved in the process as they will allow us to be."
Hayes went on to reveal that the rival bidders were thinking of renovating other parts of the property, in terms of dining and entertainment and hotels. Ideas giving to the creation of an environment that complements horse racing. As for the dollar amounts being offered, none have been revealed.
Hayes continued: "I've heard a number of different (figures)," Hayes said. "Some under $100 million, some over $100 million. I don't know what the top bid is, and I don't know that it's going to be determined by the top bidder. I wouldn't think so. It's more what the use is going to be. Obviously, money is a factor, but I don't think they're just going to go by the high bid."
Read Mayor Hayes' full statement here.
Source: Ron Flatter, Horse Racing Nation