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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hold Everything

- A humble NY horseman writes in about what I guess are rumors circulating through the backstretch about the "goal posts" being moved between Delaware North, reported the other day to be the front runner in the Aqueduct VLT sweepstakes, and Merrill Lynch, who the commenter tells us is the company's main financier. I don't have any insight into any of that as of now; and indeed, there's been no follow-up nor confirmation of James Odato's blog entry ID'ing Delaware North as the likely winner. And in any event, I cannot supply a better answer than the one from the reader who responds - if I may lift from his/her comment succinctly: in today's financing climate, all deals are being reevaluated. That pretty much sums it up.

If Delaware North, or any of the other bidders, were planning on borrowing for the deal, you can bet that the goal posts have indeed moved. Just type "credit crisis" into Google News and survey the fear of soaring borrowing costs - where credit is available at all - which is fueling the current turmoil on Wall Street. Or try getting yourself a mortgage. The reader also points out, reasonably I think, that it's in any event entirely possible that Delaware North could be having second thoughts about spending $370 million which would get it nothing other than the right to conduct a gaming operation in a heavily taxed environment. Though clearly, the problem is not limited to New York. I wouldn't expect to see much movement on this in the immediate future.

- Figured it was just a matter of time before Eliot Spitzer was blamed for the entire global crisis.

- Hunch bet for today (oh man, this is too easy):

Spaniard - 4th at Belmont

- Last year, NYRA announced the hiring of Gavin Landry as senior vice president of sales and market development with some fanfare. He was being counted on to help bolster the association's hospitality efforts. But now, Landry is out, and NYRA spokesperson John Lee isn't elaborating as to why. “We’re not commenting on personnel matters, but this was Gavin’s last day here today." [Thoroughbred Times]


Anonymous said...


Come to think of it, the NYRA Chairman Steve Duncker did say after the bankruptcy bailout last week that he felt his group could survive a year or more without VLT subsidies now that it didn't have to pay real estae taxes and it got the extra $30 million in cash from the state to put on the books. There is even a provision for the state to pick up the tab on the retirement fund payments if there is no VLT cash flow by the end of March, 2009. So, maybe if DelNorth can't or doesn't want to raise $370 million, and if S.L Green and Cap/Mohegan are in the same boat, then this whole thing may just have to wait. Could be a problem and reason for this current delay. Does anyone know if either S.L. Green or Cap/Mohegan are "flush" enough to complete the deal?

Anonymous said...

Hunch bet for today (oh man,this is easy): Spaniard-4th Belmont

oh my you never cease to amaze me. What a jerk you look like. It really is funny or shall I say sad how you EVER can pick a horse and state its easy. Even if the horse won your an idiot. That stalker who posts here and then you delete his posts cause you don't want anyone to read how stupid the things you come out and say has your number for sure. You are pathetic Alan bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Isn't TD Banknorth owned by Delaware North ? Maybe Delaware is saving to fix up the grounds and buildings/baths at the Saratoga State Park--where they have a 20 year lease on the hotel and baths.

news article here (where Mary Lou Whitney's duaghter is quoted as saying that they are just trying to keep the doors open):

Anonymous said...

I'm betting that Mohegan has the cash flow to get this done, and their up front payment was lower.

SL Green, not even sure they would be allowed to do this deal under REIT laws since no real estate connection, must be another related entity. There will be a lot of pressure on all real estate entities in this market, so Mohegan looks like the best bet.

alan said...

>>I'm betting that Mohegan has the cash flow to get this done, and their up front payment was lower.

And Capital Play was throwing around huge figures when they were bidding for the franchise. Their low bid in terms of up front money could work to their advantage if the others can't raise the money. Maybe they knew something that we didn't!

>>..this whole thing may just have to wait.

For sure. But even if NYRA has 24 months as Duncker said, remember you need 12 months to construct the place. We've seen 12 months go by in a flash when it comes to this mess.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if Landry was dismissed because of the $15,000 hospitality shack near the Saratoga finish line was usually half empty most of the day and was empty every day I was there by the last race.

The Restaurant Row was always busy, but how much did NYRA get for that?

Was Landry the scapegoat for the dismal attendance at the Spa overall, including Curlin's Woodward?

Anonymous said...

I have plenty of ideas to increase attendance, can I try next?? :)

Anonymous said...

I think they need to change their target.

Like most sports franchises, they are targeting big corp types and (formerly) new wealth yuppies instead of trying to bring back the long term ordinary bread and butter fans that have fled to the simulcast and home wagering opportunities now available.

There are plenty of ways to get the regulars back, but a fancy hospitality tent is not one of them.

In fact it is counter productive since it took on of the prime viewing spots at the SPA, for those without reserved seats, out of play to please a few bigshots.

The need to redefine their target.

Anonymous said...

Anbody know what 9:40 p.m. poster meant when the said, "S.L. Green may not be allowed to do this deal because under REIT laws, no real estate connection must be another related entity." I'm not following the thinking.ev