Can the Pimlico be Saved?

May 12, 2009 |

Can the Pimlico be Saved? 

With the upcoming Preakness Stakes getting ready to run for the 134th time it got me thinking about the state of the Preakness and more specifically the track at Pimlico.  It seems as though Pimlico has lost its popularity and needs work to regain the revenue that it once had.  It is no secret that good horses go to the tracks with the biggest purses.  And right not Pimlico is not one of those tracks. 

I have been listening to this topic a lot over the last year and it has regained steam this past week as the Preakness gets ready to run again.  Everyone has their idea of what it would take to save the race track so I figured that I would get involved and let everyone know my idea. 

I am honestly not a big horse racing fan.  It is not as though I hate it I have just never really gotten into it.  I will watch the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but that is where my attraction stops.  So with that said I think I may be the type of fan that Pimlico should try to attract.  The reason I say that is because it seems as though horse racing population is down and it needs to do something to attract new fans and hopefully regenerate interest in this dying sport.  With that said here is my plan for Pimlico and what it may do to help increase revenue and get more customers. 

What I would do is rebuild the track.  I would turn Pimlico into a complex that was much more then horse racing.  I know that there is talk about adding slots to the track but I think it may take more then that.  I think they should rebuild this and make a huge complex out it.  I would create a gambling area where you could go for a night of slots.  Also add in a nice sports bar where you may attract people to watch other sporting events.  I would also build in a concert area, which you could use to attract bands, broadway productions, and other big events that will pull fans into this complex.   

I would also look into the possibility of building a new arena for Baltimore and combining it into this complex.  There has been constant talk of getting a new arena so why not combine the two projects and build something great that could increase the revenue opportunities for the city as a whole.  I am not sure that the current location is ideal and I am not a developer so I am not sure were we could do this but I would aim to move it closer to downtown, maybe accessible from 95 if possible. 

I know this sounds like a big project but that is what I think is necessary if you want horse racing to survive in this town.  I think that if you want to resurrect horse racing you need to start by rebuilding the interest in the sport.  And in order to do so you need to get people exposed to it and you need to be creative when doing that.  People are not going because they are not a fan of it and I am guessing, if they are anything like me, they are not a fan because they are not exposed to it enough.  So if you want to regenerate interest you start with increasing the exposure to the sport.  You do this by creating a complex that will get people to the facility for other reasons with the hopes that while they are there they would check out a race or two and then develop the same interest in the sport that my fathers generation once had.