Gulfstream Park is out of the starting gate and racing towards an enormous expansion project that will cost over a half a billion dollars. Their ultimate goal is yearround racing and to bring the coveted Breeder's Cup back to South Florida.
In order to get a bid for the 2014 Breeders Cup, they want to increase the seating capacity at Gulfstream from 20,000 to 50,000. If that sounds a little aggressive, keep in mind they managed to drop in 32 V.I.P. box seats in less than two weeks.
The project includes two 500-room hotels facing the track, a standalone casino and adjacent concert hall, as well as a 4D theatre. "The architectural drawings will be submitted to the city and the state very soon, within the next couple of weeks," said Gulfstream Park President Tim Ritvo.
ulfstream's racing season currently runs from Dec. 1 through April 5, but with this type of investment, the Stronach group would want this place bustling more than four months a year, and the city of Hallandale Beach likes that idea. "If Gulfstream goes year round, that's going to draw more people here, more people to our local businesses and more people interested in Hallandale Beach," said Peter Dobens of Hallandale Beach.
Horse racing fans like the idea too, especially getting a prestigious race card like the Breeder's Cup. "It will bring more people here from all over the world," said racing fan James Colborn. "I worked here in 1999, when they had the Breeder's Cup and it was excellent."
Gulfstream says they want to become a destination resort. In order to do that, you have to think big and they are thinking big in bronze. "An ultimate statue of Pegasus is being built right now," Ritvo said. "It will be 120 feet high, the world’s largest bronze statue, we believe."
Work is expected to begin on April 5th, the first day after this year's racing season ends.
For more information, call 954-454-7000 or visit www.gulfstreampark.com.
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