Thursday, 30 May 2024 13:16

BELMONT ON BROADWAY What To Know; How To Get There; What’s Happening

Outside the Saratoga Springs City Center on Broadway May 29, 2024. Outside the Saratoga Springs City Center on Broadway May 29, 2024.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A week-long festival marking the first appearance of the Belmont Stakes in Saratoga Springs will take place in the Spa City. 

Nicknamed “Belmont On Broadway” and billed as a locally based multifaceted celebration, the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival is slated to take place June 4 -9 and will feature a free outdoor concert and other events complimentary to the June 6-9 four-day meet at Saratoga Race Course. 

The signature kick-off event to the week will be a free outdoor concert on Broadway in front of the Saratoga Springs City Center on Wednesday, June 5. The concert will begin at 6 p.m. with Tops of Trees, a Saratoga-based original eight-piece rock and soul ensemble, followed by the Virginia-based Pat McGee Band taking the stage at 7 p.m.

 The headlining act will be Blues Traveler. The popular band is anticipated to take the stage shortly after 8 p.m. 

The staging area is expected to be situated on Broadway itself and in close proximity to the City Center. The performing bands will face south, towards Lake Avenue. Much of upper Broadway will be closed to vehicle traffic during the event, allowing music fans to watch from the paved roadway. Individuals who require a seat are asked to bring a folding chair that is not inside of a bag. 

What NOT to bring. NO: coolers, backpacks, large bags, strollers, pets, glass bottles, alcohol or weapons of any kind. Leaving a bar or restaurant with alcohol will not be permitted. No smoking. 

The Concert

The free concert takes place 6 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5 on Broadway. The stage will be installed adjacent to the front of the Saratoga Springs City Center.

6-6:45 p.m. - Tops of Trees. Saratoga-based original eight-piece rock and soul ensemble. Performed at the pre-fireworks performance Saratoga New Year’s Fest and recently earned a 2024 Capital Region Thomas Edison Award (Eddie) nomination for Jam Band of The Year.

7-8 p.m. - Pat McGee Band. Hailing from Virginia, the band features an upbeat party vibe. McGee has performed at Caffe Lena as well as previously performing as an opening act for Blues Traveler. The group’s most recent reunion album, Sugar Packet, was released in 2020. 

8:30 -10 p.m. - Blues Traveler. 

 

 

Street Closures 

Broadway will be closed to vehicles between Van Dam Street and Lake Avenue beginning approximately 5 a.m. on Wednesday to 2 a.m. on Thursday, for the concert event. 

Additionally, roughly between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Wednesday, off-shoot streets extending east and west of Broadway - as well as Broadway itself between Lake Avenue and Washington Street - will be closed to vehicles starting shortly before the start of the concert and lasting for about an hour following its conclusion. 

City Public Safety Commissioner Tim Coll said his department has been preparing for the Belmont Festival for several months and working collaboratively with federal, state, and local partners.

On April 17, 15 agencies, including the Saratoga Springs Police Department) and the Saratoga Springs Fire Departments, NYRA, FBI, NYS Police and the Saratoga County Sheriff, participated in a joint Table Top Exercise led by the FBI’s Critical Incident Respond Group out of Washington D.C. and including various hypothetical scenarios and encouraged discussion and communication between agencies,” Coll said. 

Getting There

Complimentary shuttle transportation will be provided by CDTA from 3 to 11 p.m. from two remote parking locations.

One bus will run between Route 50 Lot at Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the bus stop on Broadway at Congress Park. 

One bus will run between the Wilton Mall bus stop and the corner of High Rock Avenue and Lake Avenue. 

The buses will visit the two locations approximately every 20 minutes.

Note for those driving: The City Center Parking Garage WILL be open. The parking facility, located between Maple and High Rock Avenues, has secure covered parking for more than 600 vehicles., and features a pay per park system. 

June 4 – 9, Belmont On Broadway Is a Six-Day Celebration 

Officials expect hosting the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga will serve as a significant boost for local businesses. The estimated economic impact of the Belmont on the nine-county region is more than $50 million in 2024.

That $50 million projection comes from applying a mathematical formula that takes the overall economic activity of the annual 40-day summer meet at Saratoga and assigning it to the number of days of the upcoming Belmont festival. That overall 40-day meet figure, was detailed in a study commissioned by the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency and released in 2023.

How Did The Belmont Land in Saratoga? 

With a massive $455 million renovation project slated to take place at Long Island’s Belmont Park, the New York Racing Association decided to stage the high-profile Belmont Stakes at Saratoga.

That temporary relocation of the Belmont Stakes – a race which traditionally sites the third and final leg of the Triple Crown – will also see Saratoga serve as host site in June 2025. The Belmont’s normal Long Island home venue is currently anticipated to be ready for a downstate return in 2026.   

Additional Happenings

The Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association will host a themed window decorating contest featuring 17 decorated storefronts. The displays will be graded on a point system according to how well each window meets the Fun Factor, Creativity, and Visual Impact criteria. Winners will be announced June 5 and prizes include two Clubhouse Reserved seats (winner), two Grandstand Reserved seats (runner-up), and two Grandstand Admission tickets (third place) for Belmont Stakes Day at Saratoga Race Course. 

A number of other local events are either being specially staged, or otherwise linked to the Belmont. Specific information about many of those events may be found at: discoversaratoga.org.     

The Belmont on Broadway concert is sponsored by Death Wish Coffee, NYRA Bets, Saratoga County, the City of Saratoga Springs, Druthers Brewing Company, Adirondack Trust Company, D. A. Collins Companies, UHY Advisors, and Saratoga Casino Hotel.

The organizing committee is comprised of leaders from the Saratoga County Economic Development Corporation, Saratoga Springs City Center, Discover Saratoga, Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association, and Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

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