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CHURCHILL DOWNS SELECTS VIRGINIA SITE

 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The management of Churchill Downs, Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN), today announced its intent to pursue building a race track in Hampton Roads, located on the Taylor Farm property in Virginia Beach.
 The decision was reached after lengthy discussions with officials from both Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. The project is contingent upon the completion of several legal, business and regulatory processes, including final approval by the City Council of Virginia Beach and the area sports authority, according to Churchill President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas H. Meeker.
 "First let me compliment the people of Portsmouth and Virginia Beach," Meeker said. "Officials from both cities have demonstrated the desire and business acumen necessary for attracting this type of investment. Also, the community of Hampton Roads has all the ingredients necessary to meet our objectives, which are: to enhance a greater sense of community pride in furtherance of the area's tourism industry, to promote local and state agri-business, and to develop a financially sound community project.
 The project would include a $40 million facility suitable for both Thoroughbred and standardbred racing, with a seating capacity of 5,000 to 6,000 and stabling for up to 1,400 horses, located on 245 acres of the Taylor Farm just south of the Oceana Naval Air Base.
 The first year of racing would entail approximately 40 days of Thoroughbred racing, 60 days of harness racing with the expansion to 150 days of live racing by the fifth year of operation.
 "By pursuing this project," Meeker said, "Churchill Downs has the opportunity to help develop tourism and jobs in Hampton Roads, while promoting horse racing in a state that has a true affinity for the horse and a long standing tradition with the equine industry."
 "Building a race track in Virginia also reinforces a firm commitment by Churchill Downs to live racing and to all aspects of the agri- business and related occupations that support the equine industry."
 Total cost for the project, which includes as many as six OTB sites around the state, is approximately $56 million. Churchill Downs will raise up to $22 million in equity, with Churchill Downs investing $5 million of that total as a minority partner. The issuance of revenue bonds and bank financing will provide the balance of the funds needed. The city of Virginia Beach has agreed to make several off-site improvements which will enhance what Meeker describes as an already acceptable site. The track is expected to open in 1996.
 -0- 7/1/93
 /CONTACT: Karl F. Schmitt, Jr., or Tony Terry of Churchill Downs, 502-636-4460/
 (CHDN)


CO: Churchill Downs, Inc. ST: Kentucky IN: LEI ENT SU: PDT

CM-SB -- CH010 -- 7791 07/01/93 13:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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