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Monmouth Park Race Track Close To A Deal [AUDIO]

Flickr User Ted Kerwin

It’s looking like good news for Monmouth Park Race Track.

With negotiations reported to be positive, the horse racing destination has a good chance of being around for one more season as state officials, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authorities, and the New Jersey Thoroughbred organization put together an eleventh hour deal through the weekend.

Shore Senator Jennifer Beck said she is optimistic there will be “positive news” from the negotiation, noting that both parties have spent all weekend “negotiating the details of a contract”. The governor gave a seven day deadline to come to an agreement, and Beck believes all sides are taking it very seriously and a final solution will be announced very soon.

Beck says new details of the contract address state based subsidy of the races.

“There is an understanding that for 2012 the state would rebid for a new operator, and in 2012 the state would operate the park for earned purses only. ”

The Senator notes previously, one of the agreements in the past through a consent agreement with the casinos involved them putting 30 million dollars to supplement purses for the horse racing industry. In return for the horse racing industry agreed to not put slot machines at the meadowlands.

Beck says the issue of consent of simulcast signals has also been covered in the new agreement.

“The thoroughbred’s wouldn’t pull that signal from the off track wagering facilities and the racetracks for the five years that a new operator has the track because if you pull the signal it dramatically affects the revenue.”

The fate of the Monmouth Park Race Track has been dubious since real estate investor Morris Bailey pulled out an offer for a five year lease of the track after negotiations broke down.

Governor Christie has stated that he does not want the state to subsidize the park any further so unless they would be able to find their own investor they would have to shut down.

The Monmouth Park Race Track is a major economic engine in the county, which already suffered from the closure of Fort Monmouth. Beck however has high hopes that Monmouth Park will continue operating.

“My understanding is that the final draft of the agreement is being reviewed by both sides and with a little bit of luck and maybe a little bit of Christmas magic we’re going to have a positive announcement for morning. ”

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