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Caesars Entertainment Scioto Downs Grandstand Update
September 8, 2021 Ohio State Racing Commission Agenda Item 8. Those in attendance from Caesars included.
Bill Reeg - Regional President Caesars Entertainment
Joe Morris - Senior Vice President of Racing Caesars Entertainment
Amy Ankerson - Senior Vice President and General Manager Caesars Scioto Downs
Jason Roth - Director of Racing Caesars Scioto Downs
Richard Hillis - Lobbyist for Caesars Enterprise Services
SVP Joe Morris outlined the timeline: (1) Asbestos and Lead Paint Abatement. (2) Relocate site electrical located under the Grandstand area. (3) Demolition of the Grandstand and Penthouse structures. (4) Rebuild. The four-step plan has started with re-harnessing on the site electrical. The large-scale work will commence as soon as the live meet ends as scheduled on September 18, 2021. Mr. Morris did not provide definitive dates due to the difficulty in sourcing construction materials during COVID. Although there is "no timeline, we will do it as fast as we can", stated Morris. The, "plan is to have the facility ready to go by next year's live racing meet."
The new Grandstand will offer 750 stadium seats in the main level, an additional 200 seats on the sides, and open apron area. There will be VIP rooms on the top level on each side of the announcer's and racing officials' section. The VIP rooms capacity are 80 and 50 each. The 500 seat capacity Clubhouse will remain.
The Ohio State Racing Commission comments admonished Caesars officials for the "embarrassing" state of the facility and subsequent black eye for Ohio Racing at what once was, "Ohio's Showplace of Racing". Chairman Scott Borgemenke admonished Caesars officials for not taking care of the racing patrons to the same level and degree that racino patrons enjoyed, and said fines for this and any other future infractions would follow. Those fine monies would not be used to enhance the Racing Commission's coffers, but to aid participant and racehorse benevolence. The Chairman's additional comments extended from more parity in marketing and promotion to patron treatment and accommodations. Commissioner Thomas Winters added that the Commission would, "hold their feet to the fire" in regards to the project and operations moving forward. Commission Winters further suggested holding any Casino Commission monies for operations in escrow until conditions are met regarding the facility. Joe Morris said he would provide full capital expenditures, marketing budgets for racing, and other items.
Chairman Borgemenke warned, "but-for racing, the racinos would not exist," and a full report of planned capital expenditures, marketing budgets, and other items will be requested from all permit holders going forward. The corporate entities must comply to take care of live racing and the live racing program. In future Racing Commission meetings, the expectation was the corporate decision-makers with actual authority be present.
Proposed Scioto Downs Grandstand