JC / Railbird

Loan Is Not a “Bailout”

Ugh. This Blood-Horse headline qualifies as a gross error:

Blood-Horse NYRA loan story headline

An Associated Press article has the slightly better headline, “Paterson: NYRA, Saratoga meet will be saved,” so readers aren’t told the proposed $17 million loan is a bailout … until the story’s first sentence. While not overlooking the good news that the state may come through with the money it’s obligated to provide NYRA (money it desperately needs) if the Aqueduct racino wasn’t in operation this spring, it’s hard to see the inaccurate characterization of the deal in the AP lede, and in at least one headline from a publication that should know better, as anything other than a public relations disaster. I look forward to the inevitable editorials and letters demanding to know why New York, with its seven weeks overdue budget, is “bailing out” the undeserving NYRA, when it’s merely fulfilling the promises of the franchise agreement made in 2008.

5/19/10 Update: Never mind? Matt Hegarty reports in DRF that the Governor’s comments “did not reflect any substantive progress” towards a legislative resolution to NYRA’s situation. “I think they’ll pass it,” said Paterson of the proposed loan plan on Tuesday, but a few legislators may balk.

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Meanwhile, in California …

A shame CHRB cut meeting webcasts in January; items #10 and #11 on the board’s Thursday meeting agenda (PDF) should be quite interesting. Magna (MI Developments) is scheduled to give an update on its future racing plans, which won’t include Santa Anita president Ron Charles. He’s resigned, effective Wednesday. A discussion of the voided Oak Tree lease (and potential impact on Oak Tree dates this fall) is to follow. Oak Tree had been talking with the Breeders’ Cup about hosting the event permanently; MI’s decision to pull the lease, affirmed only two weeks before, has complicated those negotiations. “Maybe this will derail BCup freight chugging into SA station,” tweeted Nick Kling. Maybe. Del Mar executives, who have offered the track to Oak Tree, are hoping it might renew the possibility of a Del Mar Breeders’ Cup.


Had the same thought when I saw the word “bailout” being thrown around. Unfortunate, that the Bloodhorse would be that ignorant to perpetuate something that is flat false. A bit of anti-NYRA bias from the Kentucky-based publication???

Posted by Kevin on May 18, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

Every single solitary story about the situation in NY should be forced … FORCED … to mention that NY OTB owes NYRA millions of dollars. A loan, bailout, whatever you want to call it, doesn’t address the two fundamental issues: NY OTB is hurting the game in the state and AQU doesn’t have slots. In that order.

Posted by John S. on May 19, 2010 @ 10:15 am

Yes, absolutely. It’s sloppy reporting to leave out those significant details. I’d also like to see lazy, misleading paragraphs like the one below, taken from an Associated Press article published on Friday, stricken:

“NYRA, plagued for years by poor management and sinking revenues, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008 with the help of a $105 million state bailout that sent $75 million to creditors and $30 million to help NYRA until the Aqueduct ‘racino’ opened. At the same time, its state franchise to run racing was renewed for 25 years.”

That was no bailout in 2008; it was the state paying cash for land.

Posted by Jessica on May 23, 2010 @ 8:43 pm