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Keeping Preakness at Pimlico doesn't add up

Keeping Preakness at Pimlico doesn't add up
In the 143rd Preakness at Pimlico Race Course last May, Justify, #7, crosses the finish line first with #8, Bravazo, in second and #5, Good Magic, taking third. . (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Edward Buxbaum’s economic argument for maintaining the Preakness at Pimlico (Horse racing is not ‘yesterday’s sport’ and Pimlico is worth saving,” Jan. 2) rests on data that are not freely available to the public or that are misstated. The study by the American Horse Council cited in the letter is only available as a book costing $50 (www.horsecouncil.org/products/state-breakout-economic-impact-studies). So, effectively, the data are private and neither numbers nor assumptions can be checked by the interested public.

The data in the Maryland Department of Commerce report cited emphasize of the number of jobs equivalent to a dollar amount of spending, but these are not jobs created, let alone jobs created in the Park Heights community. Furthermore, the figure of $40 million cited as a positive impact is in fact a value for gross expenditure, implying some smaller value for net expenditures, and is inflated in the report by an undefined multiplier. Overall, the data do not support Mr. Buxbaum’s economic case.

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Michael Edidin, Baltimore

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