More On New Edmonton Track

Published: September 20, 2016 10:01 am EDT

On Monday, Horse Racing Alberta announced that Century Casinos Europe GmbH is the successful applicant to own, build and operate an "A" Track Horse Racing Facility in the Edmonton market area. More details on that project have been revealed.

Century proposes to build “Century Mile,” the only one-mile racetrack in Western Canada, with track lighting and a multi-level racing entertainment centre with a covered grandstand. The proposed location is on Edmonton International Airport land and close to the City of Leduc, a city of 30,000 inhabitants, just south of Edmonton and ideally positioned exiting off the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, one of the most heavily-used highways in Western Canada.

“We’re absolutely excited,” Paul Ryneveld, racing manager of Century Downs told The Edmonton Journal. “With our arrangement with the government and the history of horse racing in Edmonton, horse racing has the potential to be great again.

“We just need the stability and this new facility will provide that. The focus will be on getting Alberta horse racing breeding and ownership back to where it used to be.”

Several hotels, a golf course and a large shopping mall, which is currently under construction, are all within close proximity to the proposed site. Initial plans indicate total project cost of approx. CAN $50 million and a possible opening date in late 2018.

“We are absolutely thrilled and honoured to have been selected as the successful applicant by the Board of Horse Racing Alberta. Together with the great success of Century Downs in the Calgary market, this is another important milestone for Century Casinos,” the Company’s Co-CEOs Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger said. “The location at Edmonton International Airport offers great potential as this is the only remaining untapped casino market area of greater Edmonton,” they continued.

While the track to be constructed is slated to be a one-mile oval, Ryneveld told The Journal that a seven-eighths mile Standardbred track might be built on the inside of that track.

As previously reported, given the two-year timeline for track construction there is still a chance racing could continue at Northlands until Century Mile is completed. Chief Executive Officer of Horse Racing Alberta Shirley McClellan wouldn't say if that's a certainty as of yet but did say "we anticipate [Northlands] will run next year.”

“We’ve approached Northlands and we’ve approached the City of Edmonton,” she said. “We are working on that.”

(with files from Century and The Edmonton Journal)

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