La. Racing Commission attempts Fair Grounds improvements

The Louisiana Racing Commission voiced it's displeasure Tuesday morning with the owners of the Fair Grounds.

Tired of complaints about poor turf conditions, canceled races, and bad service, the commission put nearly ten conditions on the track's license renewal.

The Louisiana Racing Commission gave a conditional one year extension to Churchill Downs to operate the Fair Grounds.

The commission also approved an 80 day racing season that would begin on November 21, 2014, and end on March 29, 2015.

The commission is concerned about poor track conditions, inadequate marketing, and staffing.  And some complain of  repeated broken promises.

The commission will require Churchill Downs to report monthly on improvements to the turf course, which is reportedly plagued by poor drainage.

Sources say it's so bad that a large percentage of the races had to be canceled over the past year.

The track operators will also be required to report on improvements to the barns and in the marketing plan.

Insiders say they are still hopeful that a change in state law will force Churchill Downs to make even more improvements.

Fair Grounds president Tim Bryant  says they are committed to the new requirements and have allocated $690,000 for turf course repairs.

Meantime, state Rep. Pat Connick (R-Marrero) has a  bill that would require ten percent of slot machine revenues from the Fair Grounds to be used for improvements to the track.

That bill cleared the state house on a 94 to 0 vote and is now awaiting a vote in senate committee.

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