Turfway Park Racecourse in Northern Kentucky has been through a lot.

A number of events have threatened the existence of the route over the past two years. First, people feared a Competitor would pull through the few remaining racing days of the route, which were distributed by the regulators. Then a ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that a major source of funding for all tracks was illegal.

These threats now seem to be gone. On Friday, Churchill Downs will host a landmark event on the track in Florence for a $ 145 million renovation project, according to a press release.

For subscribers: The horse industry in northern Kentucky finally got external slot machines. Now it can lose you and your earnings.

Say hello to Turfway Park Racing & Gaming.

Churchill Downs will replace the rusty grandstand, install 1,500 “historic horse racing” machines very similar to slot machines, build a new clubhouse, a 1-mile plastic track, an indoor track, and other slot machines. The venue is expected to open in summer 2022.

It is estimated that in addition to what Turfway currently employs, around 800 construction jobs and 400 new full and part-time positions will be created.

“Turfway Park is being held hostage”: Regulators and legislators blame the owners for the NKY circuit’s decline

Churchill Downs will hold his groundbreaking ceremony on the track on Friday at 10am. If you fail, the event will be streamed on Facebook.

People will hear from:

  • Governor Andy Beshear
  • Boone County State Sr. John Schickel
  • Kenton County State Representative. Adam Koenig
  • The Mayoress of Florence, Diane Whalen
  • Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs
  • Chip Bach, General Manager of Turfway Park Racing & Gaming

When you go:

  • Where: Turfway Park Racing & Gaming, 7500 Turfway Road, Florence, Kentucky 41042 (entrance through Gate 2 – Main Entrance).
  • When: Friday, March 19 at 10 a.m.
  • This is how you see: Facebook live at facebook.com/Turfway.

The track’s rocky history

The track’s recent problems started in 2019.

Local racing fans feared the track would no longer exist when Churchill Downs looked for a series of races that regulators usually gave on the Florence track. Regulators blamed their former owners for the track’s demise, which didn’t use historic horse racing machines – essentially gaming machines – that other tracks generated revenue from.

Then the region was delighted when Churchill Downs bought the route instead and drew up the revitalization plan.

A look back: Churchill Downs opens a $ 38 million off-track horse racing website in Newport, Ky on Friday.

In 2020, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled the machines were illegal and Churchill Downs delayed the project.

In February, Kentucky lawmakers passed machinery legalization, which Democrat Governor Andy Beshear signed. The bill changed the definition of pari-mutuel betting in the Kentucky bylaws to include the machines.

Julia is the Northern Kentucky government reporter on the Report For America program. The investigator needs local donors to fund her grant-funded position. If you want to support Julia’s work, You can donate for your role as Report For America on this website or Email your editor, Carl Weiser, at cweiser@cincinna.gannett.com to find out how you can fund their work.

Do you know something that she should know? Send her a message at jfair@enquirer.com and follow her on Twitter at @JFair_Reports.

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