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New Meadowlands grandstand nears opening

October 07, 2013

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On Saturday night, Nov. 23, the newly constructed Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will open its doors, adding a new dimension to Meadowlands racing. This state of the art complex is a collaborative production by managing partner Jeffrey Gural, Ark Restaurants, Funbars Inc. and The Hard Rock that will span over 180,000 square feet across three floors plus an outdoor space that holds up to 10,000 people. The venue will feature year round simulcasting, a sports bar that doubles as a nightclub, indoor and outdoor restaurants, corporate and private events spaces, as well as family-friendly activities.

One of the main attractions at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is Simulcast, open year round where racing enthusiasts can watch and wager on live harness racing and simulcast races from around the world. Free WiFi access will allow fans to wager from their personal mobile devices over a secure network. For novice bettors, there will be special betting windows, instructional kiosks and classes. Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will feature a beginners kiosk to teach those just learning to bet, a class every live race day from 5-6pm teaching how to handicap as well as tellers walking throughout the venue who can answer questions and provide a how-to pamphlet. Beginner betting windows will also be available so that new bettors aren't intimidated.

On live racing days, the on-premise Broadcast Center will host interviews with drivers, trainers, owners, etc. and offer commentary. VIP areas within the facility will provide individual betting terminals and food and drink service.

The venue will continue the tradition of harness racing's greatest events such as Hambletonian Day and Meadowlands Pace which have both produced some of the most thrilling moments in racing. Each year these epic sporting events offer something for everyone in the family including all-day racing, outdoor concerts, carnival rides and games, and giveaways. Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will welcome top-drivers and top-trainers in the sport to the biggest stage in harness racing. On Nov. 30, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will feature a stakes-filled card with purses worth over $2 million that are sure to deliver an unbelievable night of harness racing action.

"I've had a long time passion for horses and racing, it's in my blood,” said managing partner Jeffrey Gural. "I wanted to create a 365-day racing, dining and entertainment complex that race enthusiasts, handicappers and family members alike could enjoy. By partnering with ARK Restaurants and Michael Sinensky of Funbars.com, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will bring a top quality food and entertainment experience to the customer while honoring the longstanding traditions of the Meadowlands.”

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will also boast accommodations for corporate and private parties, as well as those looking to enjoy racing with leisure. Victory Sports Bar & Club will be the ideal setting for watching a game with eleven 12x20 foot TVs and two oversized chandeliers, each holding three 60” flat screen TVs, in addition to numerous others throughout. On the second floor, The Lounge, a large entertainment landscape for guests to mix and mingle, offers a walk up bar and views of the racetrack and homestretch action. An extension of The Lounge is The Gallery, which can hold up to 200 people and will serve as a multi-purpose room perfect for private events, corporate functions and happy hours. The East Decks and West Deck will all offer patrons an opportunity to enjoy live racing, throw outdoor private parties, or simply appreciate grand views of the Manhattan skyline.

The Food Court offers fast food outlets -Burgers, Tacos and Pizza while The Café offers stadium favorites like sandwiches and draft beer daily. Pink, a tiered, prix-fixe dining room will be open on race days. Pink will offer tableside food and cocktail service and feature bright pink, wool chairs that complement the restaurant's name. Pink will give diners the option to eat and gamble with individual TV and betting terminals at every table as well as views of the racetrack.

Other VIP options for watching live racing include six Skybox suites ranging in capacity from 10-150 people, each equipped with bar and buffet. The suites will overlook the racetrack and can be reconfigured to accommodate any size group. There will also be the members' only club, Trotters featuring a lounge, restaurant and stadium seating.

In April 2014, Victory Terrace and the Outfield will open to provide patrons with a unique outdoor experience. Victory Terrace, a sprawling rooftop space with a lounge feel, will offer table service and amazing city views while the Outfield will boast a 2 ½ acre outside dining and entertaining space, which can accommodate up to 10,000 people. The Outfield will consist of seasonal restaurants House of ‘Que and Little Town NJ's second outpost in addition to 3 private party tents. House of ‘Que will serve recipes prepared by barbeque pit master Mike Rodriguez who hails from Austin Texas' famous Salt Lick BBQ, while Little Town NJ will draw food and drink inspiration from the Garden State. The space will also feature a music stage for performances. At the end of the Outfield lies The Playscape, an area perfect for families and outdoor activities with beer garden style food, bocce ball, ping pong, etc.

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