Letter to the editor: unite to save Arlington Park – Horse Racing News
Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill.
Millions of riders, owners, breeders, fans, coaches, jockeys and associated staff believe losing Arlington Park would be a serious loss to the sport.
So I would suggest that we millions of riders regroup and save the historic racetrack near Chicago.
The reader is probably asking where we Arlington Park and racing enthusiasts would find the money to purchase the Churchill Downs Inc. property.
Given the popularity and success of the MyRacehorse group fundraising model, where a very large number of people contribute small amounts, it may be possible to attract a large group of good sportsmen to band together and collectively fund a purchase. For example, if two million fans contributed $ 100 each, that would raise $ 200 million for the purchase and management of the track. And of course, fewer contributors are needed if a number of deep pockets appear. It would surely catch the attention of the parent company.
If there are as many Arlington Park and sports fans in Chicago as I believe, then I suggest that an “Arlington Alliance” should be able to raise enough to buy and operate the racetrack.
The first step would be to create an organization to accept these low percentage investments and contributions, manage the flow of money, and appoint a group of directors so that the Arlington Alliance can make a formal offer for the racetrack.
Once the purchase is successful, the Arlington Alliance should be organized and ready to enter into agreements with riders and worker associations and work towards a sustainable model of racing operation in order to provide quality sport with a level solid scholarship.
If it succeeds in overhauling itself in a manner similar to that of the Keeneland Association, the Arlington Alliance could ensure quality races in Chicago, while also benefiting the city of Arlington Heights and neighborhoods by preserving jobs and by participating in community programs. A park in Arlington as committed to its city and its neighbors as it is to its survival would make running an integral part of the fabric of this great city for decades to come.
– Frank Mitchell, pedigree analyst, author and consultant
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