JC / Railbird

Negotiations to Resume?

After days of stalemated negotiations, the New England HBPA plans to present Suffolk Downs with a counter-proposal to the track’s January 26 offer. It’s a bid to end an impasse that has led to the blocking of simulcast signals from Florida, New York, Ohio, and Oregon, and threatened the running of a 2011 meet. During a closed meeting on Tuesday, after financial information the NEHBPA had been seeking from Suffolk was provided, the board “authorized submission of the new offer which will be issued to Suffolk Downs no later than tomorrow,” said NEHBPA lawyer Frank Frisoli this morning.

Frisoli declined to discuss the details of the proposal or whether resuming negotiations would result in the blocked signals being made available once more to Massachusetts bettors. “I will not address the terms of the offer until after it has been made,” he said, noting that the horsemen’s group only has control of the New York signal. “The NEHBPA had no involvement whatsoever relative to the Tampa Bay signal,” said Frisoli, “and it is entirely inappropriate to demand action beyond our control as a condition to further negotiations.”

Related: There’s been some confusion about whether Massachusetts statutes only allow ADWs to take wagers from state residents on tracks that simulcast through Suffolk Downs. TVG has closed off betting on the blocked signals to customers, but TwinSpires has not. “We will continue to offer wagering on these tracks to Massachusetts residents because the dispute does not involve us or our contracts,” said a company representative. Sounds like a reason to sign up, if you don’t already have an account!

2/10/11 Addendum: More on the counter-proposal from Lynne Snierson, as well as notice that Suffolk plans to reduce hours and staff due to lost revenue.


And feel free to use promo code “helloracefans”, LOL.

Posted by dana on February 9, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

For what its worth, your updates about Suffolk (and writing in general) are greatly appreciated, Jessica. A few years ago I started playing the horses at Suffolk and dread a cancelled 2011 meet. I live in Boston but can’t stand Fenway or the Garden…I moved to Boston when I was 18 for college and have been here for 14 years…I’d have to have to move somewhere just so that I could be near a still existent track.

Posted by Goberry on February 9, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

Thank you, Goberry. I’d also hate to see Suffolk close. Probably shouldn’t say this publicly in Red Sox Nation, but to me, Boston sports = the track.

Posted by Jessica on February 10, 2011 @ 8:17 am