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Monday, February 11, 2008

Broken Model, Broken Negotiations

- Just received this statement from NYRA C. Steven Duncker:

Over the weekend, NYRA met with representatives of the State government and reviewed drafts of a proposed new franchise bill in a bid to resolve the franchise stalemate. Unfortunately, this review process indicated that the franchise discussions are going backward, not forward. The areas of concern continue to be the economic model for the future of racing in New York And governance.

It is essential that this legislation provides a proper framework to ensure that New York thoroughbred racing maintains its leadership position for the life of the new franchise. The bill does not provide the proper business model and economic terms that permits NYRA to emerge from bankruptcy nor does it correct the broken business model of thoroughbred racing in New York, a broken model that can only worsen and further imperil this industry under the legislation currently proposed.

While we agree that the NYRA Board should be streamlined, as we earlier resolved with the Governor in a Memorandum of Understanding last September, the newly proposed structure would politicize the Board and endanger the very reforms that have been accomplished to date. Such a significant step backwards would serve neither the best interests of the racing industry nor the people of New York State.

We find the current state of negotiation to be pointing irrevocably towards a cessation of racing this week.
In addition to obviously not boding well for the continuation of racing this week, this is quite interesting in that, by raising the issue of the broken business model of thoroughbred racing in New York, it clearly seems to be tying the consolidation of the OTB's into NYRA as a condition of reaching a settlement. And that's not something I've heard from NYRA in the past. Seems like they're raising the stakes as the deadline draws nearer.


Anonymous said...

Whow !! Nice to see any comment from NYRA -

I just just about to post to your first posting of the day --Who is SL Green ?? Maybe Empire is not out of the running...totally.

Quoted from two recent Paul Post's articles:

"Bruno said the top priority should be getting NYRA a new 25-year contract.

“We hope within 30 days we’ll get Aqueduct and Belmont settled,” he said.

He said that only two groups—Capital Play Inc. and SL Green
—are still in the running to operate gaming at the downstate tracks. Last fall, six organizations submitted bids to Spitzer’s office, including Connecticut-based Mohegan Sun, which is Capital Play’s gaming partner.

Spitzer’s office would not confirm that Capital Play and SL Green are the only two firms under consideration to run gaming.

Capital Play has proposed making a huge investment at Aqueduct with entertainment and retail features that would attract a younger crowd to help create a new generation of racing fans.

SL Green has been allied with Empire Racing Associates, one of three groups along with Capital Play and Excelsior Racing Associates that challenged NYRA for the racing franchise contract."

Anonymous said...

This is not a surprise and might be for the best in the long run. Combine NYRA and the OTB's, fix the revenue sharing with Albany and figure out who the slot operator will be. (BTW, SL Green is a public company, ticker SLG) There is one chance to do it right; the half baked deal on the table accomplished little.

Anonymous said...

As an upper-level NYRA employee, I find the distribution of statements like this first to the press instead of to employees to be a slap-in-the-face.
We have a "job hotline" that hasn't been updated since Friday. Last week, I found out about the potential unemployment letter from the internet instead of from my employer, despite the fact I was at work in my office until 4:30 that day.
Guess I'll keep turning to online sources throughout the week to figure out whether or not I need to report to work on Thursday!

Alan Mann said...

>>As an upper-level NYRA employee, I find the distribution of statements like this first to the press instead of to employees to be a slap-in-the-face.

Well, I guess you're not John Lee.
;/ I think we can all understand your frustration with that. Hang in there, hope everything works out. I understand that a group of NYRA employees are busing up to Albany tomorrow to make their feelings known.

Anonymous said...

Not John Lee -- it's probably just PJ Campo

Anonymous said...

Again -
First I hear of the "NYRA bus rally" is here. Thanks, boss.

Anonymous said...