The Maryland Stadium Authority has been brought in by state officials to investigate the structural, economical and long-term health of Pimlico Race Course. This is part of the process for upgrading the facility so that it can maintain its standing as the home of the Preakness Stakes. Pimlico is 146 years old making it the oldest race track on the Triple Crown race track, and only the second oldest in the country behind Saratoga Race Course.
“We want it to be an unbiased assessment of the benefits of keeping it there … and also the negative aspects if it were to move,”said Delegate Sandy Rosenberg of the Maryland Stadium Authority. “We think the case is there in the merits that it should stay there.”
Recent upgrades to Laurel Park generated rumours that the Preakness Stakes could be on the move. The other, major track in the state is currently moving forward with a massive $200 million renovation spearheaded by the Maryland Jockey Club. However, it does look like everyone in the state wishes to keep the Preakness at Pimlico.
For now, any talk of moving the second leg of the Triple Crown are on hold. Attention is instead shifting to a updating the grounds so that they meet or exceed modern standards and provide patrons with a premium experience overall.
The two-phase study conducted by the Maryland Stadium Authority will initially begin with a report on the current conditions of the facility and its grounds. The second phase will assess the feasibility of development options.
“Pimlico and the Preakness are incredibly important to Baltimore,” reiterated William H. Cole, the president of the Baltimore Development Corporation. “We will work with the Jockey Club, the Maryland Racing Commission and the stadium authority to ensure that they both remain for generations,” he said.
It’s been several years since Pimlico received a proper facelift and the state’s combined efforts will point towards the use of public and private funds to make the renovations happen. The Maryland Stadium Authority is composed of seven government officials from within the state that have routinely overseen the conditions and upkeep of places like Camdem Yards, Memorial Stadium, M&T Bank Stadium the XFINITY Center and a number of convention centers around the state.
Pimlico has fallen by the wayside in recent years, but is now in the best possible care that the state can provide.