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Northville appeals Magna

June 08, 2005

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Northville Downs in Michigan has filed an appeal to the Office of Michigan Racing Commissioner of the license granted last month to Magna Entertainment to build a new Thoroughbred racetrack in nearby Romulus. In its appeal, the track reportedly is arguing that a third track in the metro-Detroit area would oversatuate the market and force it to close.

Magna received the license and stated it planned to build a $100 million racetrack on a site just north of Metropolitan Airport. Magna does not have to begin building the track until 2007 and does not have to open until 2009, according to the license. There are some skeptics who believe that since slot machines were not approved last year for the racetracks and likely won't be in the near future, that Magna won't fulfill their obligation.

The third racetrack in the area is Hazel Park, which opened up its new state-of-the-art grandstand this year after tearing down its massive 50-year-old building. Hazel Park is not part of the appeal filed by Northville Downs.

Northville Downs is also in the midst of a renovation project, and has reportedly spent more than $1 million. Future plans include the moving of the clubhouse dining area in the first turn to a location that is right across from the finish line, a project that likely would cost upwards of $2 million.

According to a story in the Detroit News, Commission spokesman Dominic Perrone said the state plans to fight the appeal.
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