We are now 14 days from the end of the NYRA Franchise which is set to expire on Dec. 31.
It looks to me that Spitzer and the legislature will give NYRA a "temporary extenstion" to run Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga while they figure out the final conditions.
In the end it will be politics as usual-look for a change in the NYRA's Board of Directors. Although Bruno would love to pull the rug entirely out of NYRA's hand, there is too much pressure from his constituents in the Saratoga area to get this matter settled.
I still believe NYRA to be the lesser of all evils. I am fine with giving the VLT license to a private party but lets give NYRA the racing end of things. A 30 year extenstion seems too long-how about 5 years?
In the meantime no tickets have been sold or distributed for the Saratoga season and people are getting nervous.
Published reports have indicated that that Joseph Bruno, the Republican Senate majority leader, Sheldon Silver, the Democratic speaker of the Assembly, and Spitzer were on the verge of a handshake deal regarding the franchise. Charles Hayward of NYRA called the reports "very troubling," and said he would like a more concrete deal in place by Dec. 27. That is the date NYRA is scheduled to appear in bankruptcy court, at which time Hayward is hoping NYRA's reorganization plan would be approved, finally getting the association out of bankruptcy.
Lets get this settled so we can get our tickets and look forward to opening day.
By the way, opening day is early this year-July 23, 2008.