• Loading stock data...
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

Forgotten No More As Pimlico Finally Could Gain Much-Needed Upgrades

  • Maryland legislators are considering $400 million in bond funding for the home of the Preakness Stakes.
  • The developing effort adds to a historic wave of sports change in the Baltimore-Washington region.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The often-overlooked middle leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown is poised to see a significant facility upgrade, one that will both bring it closer to parity with the sport’s other two marquee races, and also add to a historic sports-related transformation unfolding across the Baltimore-Washington region.

Maryland’s legislature, which has less than a month remaining in its current session, is now considering a $400 million bond measure that would rebuild Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course, a 153-year-old facility that hosts the Preakness Stakes each year but has fallen into disrepair. The latest plan, advancing upon both a prior effort detailed in January and a separate blueprint from 2020, would see the Stronach Group transfer ownership of the racetrack to a newly created state-led nonprofit organization.

The measure in part represents a catch-up move for the Preakness Stakes and Pimlico following other work already finished or underway for the sites of the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Louisville’s Churchill Downs is completing a $200 million capital improvement in time for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in May, while Belmont Park is getting a $455 million makeover that will relocate the 2024 Belmont Stakes to Saratoga Race Course and potentially the 2025 race as well.

In addition to upgrades to the racetrack itself, other components include a hotel and event center, parking garage, and a new training facility. 

“Every 10 years, the legislature tried to solve the problem, and every 10 years, they kicked the can down the road with Band-Aids,” said Greg Cross, chair of the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority. “This is the first time we’re actually doing something new.”

Capital Change

The Pimlico renovations now under consideration add to arguably the most change-filled eight months in the Mid-Atlantic pro sports history. Just since last July, both the Commanders and Orioles have been sold, efforts advanced to build a new venue on the RFK Stadium site, funding was approved to renovate Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has attempted and initially failed in his attempt to build a $2 billion arena in Alexandria., Va., and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network is entering a new era with regard to both distribution on dominant cable carrier Comcast and rights fees paid to the Orioles and Nationals. 

If the Pimlico funding effort is successful, the Preakness Stakes would relocate in 2026 to nearby Laurel Park before returning to Baltimore the following year.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Chicago’s Sports Media About to Experience a Major Shake-Up

Three Chicago pro teams’ media rights could shift to Stadium as soon as this fall.

To Sum Up Current Commanders, Coyotes Situations: It’s Complicated

The Commanders hire a Capitol Hill insider as the team continues its stadium pursuit.

Star-Studded NBA Play-In a Potential Ratings Boon for ESPN and TNT

The initial portion of the NBA postseason features three former MVPs.

NBA’s Two Tourneys Drive Record Attendance

Total attendance for the 2023–24 season, which ended Sunday, was 22,538,518.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Can MLS Get Bigger Than MLB?


Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

MLS Finally Gets Its Own Piece of the Big Apple

New York will finally gain a soccer-specific stadium with plans approved for a facility in Queens.
April 9, 2024

Coyotes’ Arena Options in Arizona Are Drying Up. Is Relocation Next?

Scottsdale’s mayor cites infrastructure and retail issues with the team’s proposed arena site.
April 11, 2024

Hello, Goodbye: Coyotes’ Future in Flux As Relocation Rumors Ramp Up

The league reportedly has developed a contingency plan to move the team to Salt Lake City.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 9, 2024

Champions League Hosts Ramp Up Security Amid ISIS Threat

Cities are increasing police presence after social media posts.
April 5, 2024

A Wild Week in Stadium News for the Coyotes, A’s, Royals, and Chiefs

Venue-related developments take shape in Phoenix, Sacramento, and Kansas City.
April 4, 2024

A’s Leave Problems Behind in Oakland—But Questions Await in Sacramento

The MLB club will play for at least three seasons at a Triple A ballpark.
April 4, 2024

A’s Reach Deal to Leave Oakland for Sacramento After This Year

The A’s will play in a minor league park starting in 2025.