BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The fight to keep the Preakness at Pimlico is racing forward.
Pimlico’s owners wanted to move the Preakness to its other track in Laurel, saying Pimlico’s run down and costly to renovate.READ MORE: Ocean City, Maryland Named Among 'Best Weekend Getaway' Towns In U.S.
Last year, Baltimore City sued the owners of Pimlico to keep that from happening.
“Everyone is coming together for this, and I feel like it’s a new day for Baltimore City,” Sharon Green Middleton, District 6 Council Vice President, said.
Now, there’s a new plan to breathe life into Pimlico. The Baltimore City and County delegation saw the redesign plan, and some are calling it a triple win for racing, the city and community.
“It has an annual economic impact of about $53 million, and that’s something you can’t replace if you lose it,” Bill Cole, who represented Baltimore City in Pimlico negotiations, said. “But more importantly, this project allows for 50 acres of vertical development around the track, and turning the facility into a community amenity.”
The new plan features a smaller clubhouse, temporary stables, grandstands built yearly, more room for spectators, a community center and even athletic fields.
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For surrounding communities, it means more retail options, medical access and jobs.
The Pimlico project alone could cost around $200 million.
“The city is contributing $3.5 million a year to support the bonds to help with that infrastructure cost,” Cole said.
Delegates supporting the plan say community investment is long overdue.
“All the communities surrounding the race track, they’re on board with its presentation, and that really was the most important for all of us,” Delegate Dalya Attar said.
“I think for us, it was not just talking about what the legislation would look like, but also how the legislation affects everything that’s surrounding Pimlico Race Course,” Delegate Tony Bridges said.MORE NEWS: Maryland State House Will Be Reopen To Visitors Starting Friday
This is the first step in a long process. Governor Larry Hogan is awaiting legislation before he commits his support.