Fort Erie Race Track to return for full season, commission says - The Buffalo News

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Fort Erie Race Track to return for full season, commission says

It appears Fort Erie Race Track has gotten a reprieve.

A letter posted on the Ontario Racing Commission’s website Friday indicated funds have been secured for a full season of racing at the track.

The letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was from John Snobelen, one of the people responsible for implementing the Ontario Horseracing Partnership Plan.

“This is great news for the horse people, track employees, visitors and our community,” Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin said in a statement.

“The Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium has been working collaboratively with the panel and the commission to ensure that the historic Fort Erie Race Track remains open.”

The 116-year-old racetrack’s 41-day racing season has been in jeopardy since the Ontario Horse Racing Transition Panel announced that the track was not among eight that the government would subsidize.

Snobelen, a member of the panel, said in October that he thought the border-town racetrack, located two miles from the Peace Bridge, would be an ideal location to host a reduced rather than full schedule.

Now, it appears a full season is in the works.

The track, with nearly 200 seasonal employees, is the largest employer in Fort Erie, and is responsible for generating an annual economic impact of nearly $27 million.


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