It has always been our plan and our intention to preserve and enhance racing here if we are successful in earning a license to develop a world-class destination resort. We have no plans to move the racetrack itself and will continue to pursue options that allow us to preserve our 78-year legacy of Thoroughbred racing here. Opponents have suggested that we would have to close the track to accommodate a gaming facility on the Revere portion of the property. This, like many other of their distortions, is simply not true.
With the new circumstances of having to site the resort entirely on the Revere portion of our property, we are looking at alternative sites for the current barn area. In our prior proposal, the gaming and racing facilities were integrated. Now, they must be separate. I met with representatives of the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association this past week to brief them on this very topic.
Make no mistake about it, the “no” vote in East Boston puts the future of racing here very much in doubt. In addition to the 350 jobs at Suffolk Downs during the racing season, there are hundreds of decent, hard-working people who make their living in some way taking care of the horses that are stabled here from April to November, along with hundreds more whose businesses are supported by racing. Owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, grooms, stable hands, blacksmiths, feed and tack suppliers, veterinarians -- these people depend on racing to put food on their tables.
A report by Christiansen Capital Advisors that we commissioned as part of our application process estimates 1,486 jobs supported by the Thoroughbred industry in the Commonwealth and that number could more than double if we are successful in earning a gaming license -- that does not include the thousands of good jobs that would be created at the gaming facility itself.
Our commitment to Thoroughbred racing and the people whose livelihoods depend on it has not wavered and we are continuing to work to keep Suffolk Downs -- the last remaining Thoroughbred racetrack in New England -- going.