This rendering shows what an event center and clubhouse could look like under a proposed Pimlico development plan that would replace the existing grandstand.
This rendering shows what an event center and clubhouse could look like under a proposed Pimlico development plan that would replace the existing grandstand. (Populous/HANDOUT)

While I applaud the three principal parties collaborating to offer a solution for retaining the Preakness in Baltimore (“An unlikely path to victory for Baltimore and the Preakness,” Oct. 5), I suggest it represents a very poor investment for the following reasons:

  • Horse racing attendance is in serious decline throughout the United States with some 15,000 fewer tracks than just 15 years ago;
  • Performance enhancing drugs and the number of accidental deaths among race horses has contributed to a growing perception of animal cruelty and may ultimately lead to the prohibition of horse racing;
  • The growth of legalized sports gambling and its potential introduction to Maryland over the next few years provides a significantly less expensive alternative to race track wagering, which certainly will negatively impact the overall racing industry.

Additional school funding, a new indoor arena for downtown Baltimore and an upgraded convention center are just a few of the city projects that have been proposed as capital improvements the city needs to undertake. And at the very least, would it not be wiser to use the $375 million intended for the race tracks to reduce property taxes for spurring economic growth throughout the city?

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Charles Offutt, Baltimore

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