The Latest

  • Jul 11

    Celebrating 79 Years With Some Good News

    Suffolk Downs turned 79 this week. It was July 10th in 1935 when Eddie Wrack won the track's first race under jockey Carl Hanford, who would later go on to train the legendary Kelso, one of the greatest racehorses of all time. It was a good birthday week with the news that our tenant, Mohegan Sun Massachusetts, reached a generous surrounding community agreement with the City of Boston.  

    The Mohegan Sun agreement, with annual payments starting at $18 million, an additional $30 million for capital projects in Eastie, job preference for East Boston residents and $45 million in local road and traffic improvements, ensures that all the measurable impacts of MSM's Revere development will be mitigated. Mohegan Sun's approach with Boston is consistent with its 11 other surrounding community agreements, more than double its Everett competitor, and indicative of a partner that shares our community values and wants to be a good neighbor.  

    That agreement should go a long way to alleviating the concerns among some Eastie residents that the new development in Revere would turn its back to the neighborhood after last November's ballot questions. We said at the time that wouldn't happen and it's good to know at least a couple of our predictions in this long process have been right.

    In addition to Mohegan Sun's agreement with the city, Suffolk Downs reached a separate agreement that ensures the continuation of the racing operation here should Mohegan Sun earn the region's gaming license. Our agreement with Boston does two things. First, it legally requires the track to keep the promise it made to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in January of this year when we pledged to continue racing for the initial 15-year period of the gaming license provided MSM wins the license and the purse funding in the expanded gaming law remain in place. Second, it calls for a comprehensive master planning process with the Boston Redevelopment Authority for the Boston-side of the property where, in addition to improvements to the track facilities, we will look at complementary non-gaming development opportunities. 

    Said another way, it was important to Mayor Marty Walsh that, if Mohegan Sun is investing $1.3 billion on the Revere side of the property, that the Boston side of the property be improved as well. We are happy to work with the Mayor and his team on a plan for that, especially one that enhances our racing operation.  

    And while we had a very good week, I should point out to the friends, supporters, horsemen and others that follow this space, we were once again attacked, unfairly, IMHO, by the Boston Globe editorial page on Wednesday, a repeat of a consistent pattern of bias by the Globe against Suffolk Downs and the people who work here. In a vexing display of pique, the Globe referred to Mayor Walsh's agreement with Mohegan Sun as an agreement with Suffolk Downs in its headline and the first few paragraphs of the editorial. They barely acknowledged the facts that Mohegan Sun is the applicant for the gaming license, not Suffolk Downs, that its project is new and different from our original proposal with Caesars, that it is entirely in the City of Revere, that Revere has rights, too, and has held two successful ballot questions in favor of gaming, and that municipal borders do, in fact, exist between Boston and Revere, all inconvenient truths for the most ardent opponents to expanded gaming on our property and the preservation of our 79-year tradition.  

    So, on behalf of our owners and all the people who work here, thanks for the birthday wishes. We'll keep working hard to ensure there are many more and we appreciate the support.

  • Jun 26

    The Case For Casinos Is As Strong As Ever

    Did anyone really expect anything different?

    At Suffolk Downs, we've been operating under the assumption for months that the gaming repeal question would be on the ballot in November. Is it a setback? Not really. Will it require additional work, time, energy, money and resources? For sure. But, along with our partners from Mohegan Sun, with the other entities that have been licensed or designated a license, and a broad coalition of labor, municipal leaders, the racing community and other supporters, we're up for it.

    All the good reasons to support resort casinos in Massachusetts -- jobs, economic development, recapturing revenue being lost to neighboring states, preserving the state's racing industry -- that inspired the Governor and the Legislature to originally push and pass the expanded gaming law in 2011 hold true today.  Support for resort casinos in Massachusetts is still strong according to the most credible recent polls, including last Friday's Boston Globe survey by SocialSphere that showed an 11-point margin (52-41%) in favor of sticking with the gaming law. That's actually very encouraging, especially when you consider that people have been hearing mostly about the sausage-making -- the Gaming Commission process, siting issues, competition among potential licensees (taking occasional jibes at each other), negotiation of surrounding community agreements and the issues around the land ownership in Everett -- and not the solid, sensible arguments for job creation, generating new revenues and keeping up with our neighboring states. 

    The supporters of the repeal effort would like you to forget that Massachusetts residents can still hop into their cars and be at gaming facilities within a short drive in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine. Estimates from gaming experts that Massachusetts residents spend approximately $1 billion a year at those facilities still hold true. Why should other states reap the benefits of this perfectly acceptable entertainment choice? They shouldn't. 

    The Legislature and Governor worked hard to create model legislation to authorize resort casinos, a law that adopts both new standards and best practices to produce the greatest regional economic development, to protect local businesses, to promote tourism and the state's hospitality sector, to ensure the municipalities most affected are able to benefit and to ensure that all potential impacts are mitigated. We know that there is still broad-based support for this and expect that support will rally to defeat the repeal question. 

    Onward. 

     

     

  • Jun 23

    MGC To Hold Hearing on Mohegan Sun proposal Tuesday

    The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hold its last public hearing Tuesday, June 24, on the Mohegan Sun Massachusetts proposal to develop a world class destination resort at Suffolk Downs in Revere. The hearing will be held at Revere High School from 4-8 p.m. Please join us to show your support for Mohegan Sun. In addition to offering the best location, millions for local business and area communities, thousands of good paying jobs and an array of regional partnerships, it is the only proposal that will help us preserve racing and hundreds of jobs at Suffolk Downs.

  • Jun 6

    WBUR Story on Future of Suffolk Downs

    A day before California Chrome tries to become the first horse in 36 years to win the Triple Crown, WBUR paid a visit to the only Thoroughbred track in New England, Suffolk Downs. As the story points out, the track – along with hundreds of jobs – can survive only if Mohegan Sun earns the region's casino license.

    Listen here: http://www.wbur.org/2014/06/06/suffolk-downs-casino-license

  • May 28

    Why Racing Matters

    Only one resort casino proposal for the Boston region preserves hundreds of jobs, thousands of acres of open space, family farms and small businesses in the Commonwealth. Mohegan Sun's.

    Mohegan Sun's resort casino in Revere means that Suffolk Downs, New England's only remaining thoroughbred racing venue, will stay open, saving existing Massachusetts jobs while creating new ones at the resort. In fact, Suffolk Downs sent a letter to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in January committing to keep the track running for at least another 15 years should Mohegan Sun be selected for the gaming license for this region.

    To learn more about why racing matters and how a resort casino will help our region, check out our ad from today's Globe and Herald.

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