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Nebraska race-dates safe, new racetrack plans progress

June 18, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and the Nebraska HBPA announced a lease agreement Friday, June 5, that assures live racing will stay in Lincoln three more years. The Nebraska Board of Regents approved the lease agreement at their June 12 meeting.

For $1 a month, from January 1, 2010, through September 30, 2012, the HBPA can continue use of the racetrack, grounds, parking, barns, administration building and grandstand for live horse racing and simulcast racing.

UNL assumes control of the state fair property on January 1 and will begin development of its Innovation Campus.

“The university is supportive of the horsemen’s continued use of the racing facilities, which will not hinder the early stages of our development of the State Fair Park into useful and productive private-public research space,” said Christine Jackson, UNL vice chancellor for business and finance.

This is the final year the Nebraska State Fair will oversee live racing in Lincoln. The Nebraska HBPA takes over in 2010 and will sublease the current track to Omaha Exposition and Racing, which will run the Lincoln meet. The Omaha group also operates Horsemen’s Park in Omaha.

Jerry Fudge, president of the Nebraska HBPA, said there’s been “some progress” on preliminary plans to build a mile-long track and grandstand at 84th Street and Havelock Avenue. Its cost is estimated at $50 million.

“It’s still moving forward,” Fudge said.