BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new deal is on the table to keep the Preakness in Baltimore.
After four months of negotiations, all parties have come up with a plan that is agreeable to both the City and the Stronach Group — the owners of Pimlico Race Course.
The plan will, however, require action by the Maryland General Assembly and input from Governor Larry Hogan.
It promises improvements at the track and in the Park Heights community as a whole.
The parties reached an agreement Saturday that the owners would donate the racecourse to the City.
Under the agreement, Pimlico’s outdated grandstands would be torn down and a new clubhouse would be built after the track is rotated 30 degrees to the northeast.
This rotation of the track would create nine sections of land that can then be sold for private development.
Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott said Saturday:
“For people like my grandmother who have lived in Park Heights for 50, 60 years, and you can now see that coming, and this is what this is all about, making sure we have investment in that neighborhood, keeping the Preakness, making sure we keep the history of the Preakness, but making sure that now this is the starting point where people will be able to look back and say, ‘This is how Park Heights started to turn the tide,'”
In the agreement, Pimlico would receive a total of $199.5 million dollars to complete the project while the Stronach Group will consolidate training and stable operations at Laurel Park in Anne Arundel County.
The Stronach Group-owned track in Laurel would also receive $173.4 million dollars for improvements while also divesting itself of the Bowie Training Center.
In a statement Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young called this agreement a “historic moment” and also called The Preakness Stakes, “an important part of the City’s legacy and future.”
While this agreement has been made, there are still multiple changes to State law that need to be made by the General Assembly in 2020.
The Maryland Stadium Authority would also potentially have to take on new responsibilities and there could also be the creation of an organization to own and run the site.
If the funding is approved through the State legislature construction would be completed in about three to four years.
According to the deal, the Preakness would remain at Pimlico during the construction and for the foreseeable future.
The Governor’s Office only said that it had received notification of the plan.