Labor unions, along with small business organizations and industry groups are urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to back a plan that would enable Belmont Park on Long Island to undergo a major renovation project.
The coalition of organizations, We Are NY Horse Racing, has formed to boost the project, which needs bonding authority approved by state officials in order for the New York Racing Association to move forward.
This month, labor groups including those representing steamfitters, electricians, carpenters, operating engineers and plumbers backed the project in letters to Hochl, as well as the Long Island Association, the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
The unions and business groups have pointed to the economic benefits of the plan, which they argue would serve not just the downstate racing facility where the final leg of racing's triple crown is held, but the industry as a whole in New York.
“The positive impacts of horse racing are felt in every corner of New York State – and that’s why it’s no surprise that small business owners, advocacy groups, and organized labor alike all support modernizing Belmont Park,” said Jack Sterne, a spokesman for We Are NY Horse Racing. “Building a new, world-class racing facility at Belmont Park will create a ripple of immense economic impact both locally and across the state, including new jobs and new revenue for local governments. From Long Island to Saratoga and beyond, New Yorkers are coming together to ensure Governor Hochul and lawmakers in Albany understand the immense benefits of this project and include modernizing Belmont in this year’s state budget.”
The letters come as Hochul is set to present her budget plan next week in Albany. The coalition began its effort to push for the bonding authority last year, with groups in Saratoga Springs backing the plan as well.
An estimated 19,000 jobs are tied to the $3 billion horse racing industry in New York.