Golden Gate might close

Golden Gate might close

Postby BigDonOKC » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:47 pm

Tim Ritvo, The Stronach Group's chief operating officer, said June 13 that closing Golden Gate Fields could be a possibility if changes are not made to a complicated simulcast issue in Northern California.

After a notice was sent Wednesday to horsemen about an "urgent meeting" June 14 about "the future of Golden Gate Fields," Ritvo explained what will be discussed with horsemen, regarding Northern California Off-Track Wagering Inc. (NOTWINC), which deals with brick-and-mortar simulcast operations in the region.

https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... cast-issue
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Re: Golden Gate might close

Postby Sparrow Castle » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:47 pm

Jeremy Balan Verified account@BH_JBalan
4m4 minutes ago
TOC’s Greg Avioli just released a statement regarding Golden Gate Fields, and there’s a lot to it (more will be included in the article), but this might be the most important part. He says Los Al is suing the CHRB in an attempt to block Golden Gate’s license application.
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Re: Golden Gate might close

Postby Sparrow Castle » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:46 pm

Horsemen Concerned About Golden Gate Fields' Future
A day after Tim Ritvo of The Stronach Group indicated the closure of Golden Gate Fields may be possible if a simulcasting issue is not settled, Northern California horsemen met with other executives from the company June 14, and many left with concerns about their future in the region.

"We just came off a great meet, when I heard they were up $30-$40 million (in handle), and I've got to come to a meeting where they might be closed down for six weeks and maybe more?" trainer Steve Sherman said. "(The Stronach Group vice president of racing P.J. Campo) said we might have to take two steps back to take five steps forward, but we can't afford to take two steps back."

While executives from The Stronach Group maintained the meeting was specifically about informing the local horsemen about Golden Gate's desire to withdraw from Northern California Off-Track Wagering Inc. (NOTWINC), which deals with brick-and-mortar simulcast operations in the region, multiple horsemen felt the ultimate goal was to get them on board to race at Golden Gate year-round.

Because of the intended withdrawal from NOTWINC, The Stronach Group feels the California Horse Racing Board may not approve its meet application (Aug. 22-Oct. 2 dates) June 21 during the CHRB's scheduled monthly meeting. CHRB executive director Rick Baedeker said June 13 California law does allow for Golden Gate to opt out of NOTWINC, but that the track would have to negotiate its own deal with the 10 satellite locations in Northern California.

"I think all of us got blindsided by this," trainer Blaine Wright said. "Two months ago, we all stood together behind Golden Gate (during a stabling dispute between the track and the region's fair circuit) and that all worked out, and here we are again.

"The objective is they want to run year-round, and that's fine with me."

Golden Gate's general manager, David Duggan, said the objective of the meeting was not to endorse year-round racing but to inform horsemen of the NOTWINC decision with hopes they would voice their opinions to the CHRB.

"It's no secret we'd like to run year-round, but the goal of the meeting was to reiterate in person what Tim Ritvo said yesterday," Duggan said. "We tried to explain the NOTWINC situation face to face."

The talk left some horsemen uncomfortable and feeling stuck in the middle of a dispute between the California Authority of Racing Fairs, The Stronach Group, and the CHRB.

More: https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/228067/horsemen-concerned-about-golden-gate-fields-future
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Re: Golden Gate might close

Postby Sparrow Castle » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:56 pm

Golden Gate Update: TOC Conducts Meeting Friday
The latest salvo in a rapidly escalating simulcasting dispute in Northern California has been fired by the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC), which hosted a meeting of owners at Golden Gate Fields Friday morning to advocate an approach of business as usual for the rest of the year.

This would mean the track stays open for training this summer and that it runs its originally scheduled race dates between Aug. 22 through Oct. 2, but that all necessary parties work together to restructure the Northern California Off-Track Wagering Inc. (NOTWINC) simulcast organization into a more “profitable business” in the long-term, said TOC CEO Greg Avioli, about his organization’s position.

“We want everyone to have reached agreement prior to the first day of Golden Gate, so that Golden Gate can run it’s meet as originally scheduled,” said Avioli. “I’m confident it will happen because it’s the best economic solution for all parties.”

This Wednesday, Stronach Group chief operating officer Tim Ritvo told the Blood-Horse that his organization, which owns Golden Gate Fields, would come good on a plan written into its race meet application to opt out of NOTWINC, and to no longer send a signal to the system’s network of OTB wagering facilities, unless changes were made.

NOTWINC currently comprises 10 brick-and-mortar satellite wagering facilities. Ritvo called the organization “a broken model” in that, since its enactment, advances in wagering technologies (think TVG and Twinspires) have made the agreement effectively obsolete, to the point that now, Golden Gate is forced to subsidize the organization to keep the satellites afloat.

If no agreement is reached and Golden Gate chooses to no longer send a wagering signal to the satellites, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has threatened to deny Golden Gate a license to operate its race dates later this summer. The application is scheduled for discussion and action at the next CHRB meeting June 21 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

According to Avioli, there are two main parts to the puzzle-whether or not the CHRB is legally allowed to authorize Golden Gate to operate this summer unbound from NOTWINC, as well as what would happen if the CHRB does just that.

If it does, “where is the Stronach Group going to find and guarantee the roughly $6.5 million that is generated to the purse account currently?” said Avioli, who added that discussions surrounding a labor agreement involving the satellites is only complicating matters. Labor costs currently account for about two-thirds of the network’s total expenses.

Still, the TOC argues that Golden Gate probably won’t be able to make up the revenue lost if it pulls out of NOTWINC. According to the TOC’s calculations, these 10 satellite wagering facilities handled a total of $108.4 million in 2017, which constituted 41% of total wagering in Northern California. What’s more, purse revenues from these satellites totaled $6.6 million, or 46% of the total purse revenue generated.

More: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/golden-gate-update-toc-conducts-meeting-friday
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Re: Golden Gate might close

Postby BaroqueAgain1 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:37 pm

It can get pretty depressing to read articles like this. The racing industry seems to be unable to stop doing stuff that harms itself.
Horse racing is like an endangered species...that tends to eat its own young. :? :(
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Re: Golden Gate might close

Postby Sparrow Castle » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:43 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:It can get pretty depressing to read articles like this. The racing industry seems to be unable to stop doing stuff that harms itself.
Horse racing is like an endangered species...that tends to eat its own young. :? :(

Good analogy. This hits close too close to home. Sometimes, our horses run at Golden Gate.
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Re: Golden Gate might close

Postby interco » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:21 am

Good riddance GGF and take Los Al with you.
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Re: Golden Gate might close

Postby Catalina » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:44 am

Sparrow Castle wrote:
BaroqueAgain1 wrote:It can get pretty depressing to read articles like this. The racing industry seems to be unable to stop doing stuff that harms itself.
Horse racing is like an endangered species...that tends to eat its own young. :? :(

Good analogy. This hits close too close to home. Sometimes, our horses run at Golden Gate.


And so, how did Stronach end up with GGF? A few shares here, a few shares there? Or did he buy the whole thing outright, kit and caboodle?
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Re: Golden Gate might close

Postby Curtis » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:53 pm

interco wrote:Good riddance GGF and take Los Al with you.

Now there’s some forward thinking. Shut down the middle and the bottom and top can then follow.
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Re: Golden Gate might close

Postby djnorth » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:08 pm

interco wrote:Good riddance GGF and take Los Al with you.


Is it just me or is this the kind of thinking that helps get racing (and a lot of other stuff, I guess) into the mess it's in? Don't know what solution there is but the endangered species eating its young analogy is unfortunately a good one. It fits well with the quote about the Belmont Stakes controversy (Restoring Hope) and Justify's TC with racings' uncanny "ability to make a negative out of a positive."
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