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Update On Sports Creek Raceway

Published: December 8, 2019 10:52 am ET

Last Comment: December 8, 2019 3:38 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The topic of Sports Creek Raceway returned to local media last week, as it was reported that the State of Michigan has granted the shuttered raceway a conditional license and permit to re-open in 2020. That news is surely positive, but the entity’s new owner has said that two “absolutely critical” caveats are key in whether Sports Creek will indeed re-open or not.

The news comes courtesy of a report by The Flint Journal, which explains that the two critical caveats come in the form of bills that legislators are currently pondering.

The article states that the first bill – that has already been passed by Michigan’s House of Representatives – pertains to advance deposit wagering, which would allow handicappers to wager on races online.

The second of the bills was introduced just last week (Dec. 2), and it calls for historical racing terminals to be installed and operated at racetracks and some casinos, according to the report.

Sen. Jim Ananich, who introduced the historical racing bill last week, was quoted as saying, “It’s very important for the viability of Sports Creek Raceway. I have been interested in finding a productive use for (the track) ... It’s a huge parcel of land and a big portion of (possible) tax revenue for the city.

“I’ve been working with (Sports Creek Raceway’s current owners) and my colleagues on ways to make the horse racing industry viable again ... I’m trying to give a shot in the arm to Sports Creek and horse racing in general.”

Nelson Clemmens, the chief executive officer of AmRace & Sports LLC, which owns Sports Creek Raceway, stated that the two pieces of legislation are “absolutely critical” in putting the track back in business "and to have a viable racing program.”

Clemmens went on to state that, “As for having racing in 2020, that still depends on several factors and the timing of having the legislation in place sooner rather than later.”

(With files from The Flint Journal)

December 8, 2019 - 3:38 pmThe Flint newspaper article

The Flint newspaper article said that the considered usage of Sports Creek was for Thoroughbred racing. Unless that was in error, the news is not as good for harness racing as it first may appear, although a portion of the money intake will undoubtedly go to Northville Downs usage.

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