- With virtually no possibility of the NY legislature convening before the end of the year, the state's Oversight Board, as reported by Tom Precious on Bloodhorse.com this morning, has approved letting [NYRA] continue running racing on a temporary basis until officials can agree on a new franchise-holder. But the extension is subject to acceptance by NYRA, which, shortly afterwards, released a statement which reads:
NYRA remains confident that an agreed memorandum of understanding and legislation will be achieved. NYRA will continue to work cooperatively toward that end.Those attorneys are presumably determining whether acceptance of the extension would in any way jeopardize its land claim. Charles Hayward had also told Precious the other day:
NYRA’s attorneys are reviewing the resolution adopted today by the Non-Profit Racing Oversight Board to determine an appropriate course of action.
“We’d have to be convinced that we’re on our way to somewhere....Because, say we do 90 days from now, if there’s no more progress then on March 15 we’d be doing what we’re doing today. And it would be more detrimental for racing to stop then, right before the Wood Memorial, than it would on January 1." [Bloodhorse]The extension offer includes no end date, merely that it will end upon the selection by Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the legislature of a new franchise operator. If NYRA doesn't agree, then the Oversight Board has the authority to enter into a contract with another operator; that according to the board's chairwoman Carole Stone. NYRA would, I'm sure, be back before the bankruptcy court before such an announcement had even dropped to the floor from Ms. Stone's mouth to protest anyone other than itself being on what it views as its property.
Another looming 12/31 deadline is the expiration on that date of TVG's exclusive broadcasting and account wagering deal with NYRA. However, in an email response, Mr. Hayward informed me that "on the account wagering side NYRA will no longer be exclusive with TVG and therefore the signal will be made available to all domestic account wagering platforms assuming that we can conclude a proper economic agreement with each of them." That would continue the recent trend towards the end of ADW exclusivity that started with the experimental open platform in California, and sounds similar to TVG's recent deal with the NJ Sports and Exposition Authority. The question of TVG's exclusivity with respect to the broadcast rights are still the subject of negotiations, which NYRA hopes to conclude before the end of the year.