RSS Feed for this Blog

Monday, February 11, 2008

NYRA Digging In?

- With the statement from Steve Duncker tying the franchise negotiations directly to fixing the "broken model" of the racing industry in New York, NYRA is framing their threatened shutdown of racing in terms that people can actually get behind. As I've said before, I don't believe they would have much support if they shut down the track over the composition of its board, as legitimate as that matter may be. But by tying the talks to the OTB issue, one which should have been tackled years ago, they can portray themselves as fighting against the dysfunction of Albany and trying to strike a triumphant and long overdue blow for the industry. Maybe even the horsemen would be willing to make the sacrifice if it were for a final solution of what is ailing the industry in the state. So it seems an excellent PR move, though it also would appear that NYRA is digging in for a protracted fight.

9 Comments:

jk said...

It does not take much to take the high road vs. Albany. The Board issue qualified in my opinion. I could see where it would be a tough pr sell. The OTB issue is a no brainer. NYRA will fight the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Maybe these spoiled out-of-state billionaires have a proposed model they can share with us?

Of course they don't.

NYRA is the broken model.

Talk about last minute BS.

Anonymous said...

NYRA will fight the good fight! LOL

jk said...

You are right, NYRA is a broken model. Albany takes 100% of NYRA's profits, there is nothing left to reinvest into the business. The OTB patronage mill is more money not going into racing. Do we really need a Catskill, Suffolk, Nassau, and Capital OTB each with overlapping management and staff? Albany has squeezed the lemon dry,
now they need more juice via slots and land sales. None of this helps racing.

NYRA has its own issues but they are squeaky cleam compared to the NY State government.

Anonymous said...

This may be more than the PR equivalent of "the best defense is a good offense." NYRA has been in a position of defending the MOU since September. In the past couple of months (arguably somewhat belatedly): the horsemen have been in Albany arguing that they should get a greater percentage of VLT revenues than the MOU provides; the jockeys have been in Albany arguing for inclusion of their pension, insurance, and safety concerns in any new legislation; and Bruno has been arguing hat the MOU does not address the dysfunctional OTB situation. I find it hard to believe that NYRA really opposes any of these arguments, but, in order to get a deal done, NYRA was trying to avoid reopening the MOU and starting from scratch. At some point, as it became apparent that the MOU was going nowhere without substantial revisions that would benefit politicians but not the racing industry, NYRA had to revisit its stance and decide that reopening a lot of issues was the best way to go. Here's hoping they're right, and that it all gets settled in time to run the Gotham.

BitPlayer

ljk said...

I'm not sure that when Duncker talks about the "broken business model" that I interpret it as the OTB issue. There's no way that's getting resolved by Wednesday or anytime soon. I think they may mean the non-profit model that JK mentions in his comment, the term of the agreement, or even VLT revenue splits.

If NYRA pulls the plug now and says it's the OTB issue, that'll be a PR nightmare too. You can't wait until the last minute to bring up such a complex issue.

Anonymous said...

Glad to finally hear NYRA say something about the "broken business model" but why the hell do they wait until now to use it as a CYA? I haven't heard anything about the broken business model for months and have often wondered why. The whole franchise story shifted from "let's fix t his thing right once and for all" to "can we buy another 30 days without a shutdown"./S/Green Mtn Punter

Anonymous said...

Stick a fork in the NYRA. It is done.

Anonymous said...

I'd guess that ljk is right about the OTB issue. The most likely economic sticking sticking point I've seen is the following from Paul Post's article in the Thoroughbred Times:

"But Bruno says the plan isn’t fiscally responsible for the state’s taxpayers. Under his plan, the state would give NYRA $75-million to pay off creditors and $30-million to cover 2008 operating expenses. That is about half of the $200-million in financial assistance NYRA would receive under Spitzer’s plan."

If I were NYRA's brass, I'd be tired as hell of all this and would have no appetite for the prospect of having to come back for more money later. After what we've seen so far, does anyone really think that casino revenues will show up on schedule?

BitPlayer