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CHURCHILL DOWNS TAKES FURTHER STEP TOWARD BRINGING LIVE RACING TO VIRGINIA

 RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Amendments to the formal application filed Oct. 1 for a license to develop the "Virginia Beach Project" were submitted today by the Churchill Downs Virginia Racetrack Partners to the Virginia Racing Commission.
 Under the Virginia Beach Project, the Virginia Racetrack Partners propose to develop a $47.2 million live racing facility/equine park. Additionally, the Virginia Racetrack Partners propose to develop six off- track wagering facilities throughout the state of Virginia, with total capital cost of $6.6 million. The racing facility will be located in Virginia Beach, the largest city in the state and cornerstone of the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the southeastern United States.
 The racetrack will be financed under a unique public/private partnership which is dedicating its joint efforts to ensure the success of Virginia racing. The City of Virginia Beach has committed to provide a significant portion of the utility infrastructure, assistance in pre-opening marketing, and access to public transit. The Sports Authority of Hampton Roads, the region composed of Virginia Beach and 13 other municipalities, has committed up to $15.5 million to help finance the project. A local lending institution will provide $20.7 million as debt financing. Churchill Downs has subscribed to $18 million in equity, with plans to distribute a portion to qualified Virginia investors.
 "The response from the city officials and the community to our proposal has been very enthusiastic," said Churchill Downs President and CEO Thomas H. Meeker. "Virginia is the next great racing state, and we are committed to bringing the finest racing possible to Virginia Beach."
 Live racing at Virginia Beach will begin in 1996 and the track will initially operate a Summer Thoroughbred meet from July to September, and a Fall Harness meet from late September through November. The 245-acre facility will feature two racing surfaces, a one-mile dirt track suitable for Harness and Thoroughbred racing and a seven-eighths mile turf track.
 Plans call for a 130,000-square-foot Main Pavilion which will be divided into several distinct sub-pavilions. Initially, 96,000 square feet will be developed, with future development to include an East Pavilion, which will contain teletheaters and state-of-the-art audio and video technology and serve as the main simulcasting theater during the period of time when racing is not occurring.
 -0- 1/3/94
 /CONTACT: Communications, Churchill Downs, 502-636-4460/


CO: Churchill Downs ST: Kentucky, Virginia IN: ENT SU:

CM -- CH006 -- 8676 01/03/94 18:25 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 3, 1994
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