Thursday, 06 September 2018 20:11

NYRA Breaks Ground on New Building at Saratoga Race Course

NYRA President and CEO Chris Kay, wearing a white helmet, at ceremonial groundbreaking for the new 1863 Club, which is scheduled to open at the racecourse next year. . NYRA President and CEO Chris Kay, wearing a white helmet, at ceremonial groundbreaking for the new 1863 Club, which is scheduled to open at the racecourse next year. . Thomas Dimopoulos

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Less than 24 hours after the conclusion of the 2018 meet at Saratoga, NYRA executives gathered with construction project contractors and architects at the racecourse for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the 1863 Club - a permanent, new building to be developed at the site of the current At the Rail Pavilion.

The new will replace the seasonal tent and trailers at the end of the Clubhouse with a 36,000-square foot, three-story, climate-controlled building featuring a variety of hospitality options. The building will also be equipped with a full-service kitchen.

A banquet area will be featured on the first floor, a dining club and bar on the second level. The third floor will feature “true luxury boxes with a great view of the entire track," said NYRA President and CEO Chris Kay said, during Tuesday’s event. Kay specifically noted the second-floor rooms will well suit large groups such as college alumni and horse-centered organizations. 

Developers and contractors are tasked with completing the job in nine months. Jim Dawsey, president of MLB Construction Services, said the project was on his mind while attending local services at the Church of St. Peter during the weekend.  “I said: Lord grant me two things in my life: a dry fall, and a snow-less winter.” 

The 1863 Club is named in honor of the year of the first organized thoroughbred race meeting in Saratoga, which took place over the course of four days in August 1863 at a trotting track that was located across the street of the current racecourse site, on Union Avenue.

A two-minute video depicting a rendering of the new building may be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cLxEvgUOHY&feature=youtu.be.  

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