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Preakness, Laurel Park deal proposed

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The Stronach Group, owner of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore City – which hosts the Triple Crown series’ middle jewel, the Preakness Stakes – and Baltimore City officials have reached an agreement to keep the race at Pimlico and make enhancements to Laurel Park, according to various news outlets.

Approval of the deal, which is subject to approval of the General Assembly during the 2020 session, would end the long-running dispute between Stronach and the city concerning the future of Pimlico, which is located in northwest Baltimore. Pimlico has hosted the Preakness since 1909, but it needs major renovations that are estimated to cost nearly half-billion dollars.

The new plan calls for Stronach to donate the site in and around the track, as well as the area around Sinai Hospital, to the city for general development. The company would also build a new clubhouse and rotate the track 30 degrees to the northeast to create parcels of land that could be sold for private development.

The grandstand, which is in such state of decline that 6,670 seats were unusable for the 2019 Preakness, would be demolished. Training and stable operations would be consolidated at Laurel Park.

“This is an historic moment,” Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young said. “By these recommendations, if approved, we can preserve the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico for generations to come and move forward with our redevelopment plans for the Park Heights community, Sinai Hospital and the Northern Parkway corridor.”

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