Grand Prairie Sports Facilities Corp. Grants $2.9 Million for Breeders Cup Improvements

Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England signed an agreement on June 28 with Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie to grant the North Texas racetrack $2.9 million for facility improvements in order to host a future Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. The agreement was reached after the Grand Prairie Sports Facilities Development Corp. unanimously passed a resolution 7-0 on Monday for England to authorize such a deal.

"This is yet another positive step toward making the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships a reality for Lone Star Park and the city of Grand Prairie," said Lone Star Park President and General Manager Corey Johnsen.

"Last year, legislation was passed which earmarks up to $2 million from the State of Texas to fund improvements for a Breeders' Cup, so all necessary funding is in place.

"To stage a championship event of this magnitude, it's imperative to have strong local and statewide support. We are grateful that both the City of Grand Prairie and the State of the Texas have showed tremendous support for Lone Star Park and the sport of horse racing."

Last September, Breeders' Cup Ltd., which annually stages Thoroughbred racing's year-end championship event, added Lone Star Park to a conditional rotation schedule for future Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Lone Star Park was regarded as the likely host for the traveling championship event in 2005, but recent reports have suggested that the date could be moved up to 2004.

"We are currently in negotiations with Breeders' Cup Limited to finalize a deal," Johnsen said.

Lone Star Park's capital improvement plan will enable the racetrack to expand its seating capacity from approximately 10,000 to more than 50,000. In addition, Johnsen told THP members in a recent horsemen's meeting that Lone Star Park plans to build at least 250 new stalls and 100 new dorm rooms.

Capital improvements to the five-year-old facility could begin as early as this fall.

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