Gulfstream Park moves toward $500M expansion

Park seeks to attract prestigious Breeder's Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Gulfstream Park is out of the starting gate and racing towards an enormous expansion project that will cost over a half a billion  dollars.

The ultimate goal is year-round racing and to bring the coveted Breeder's Cup back to South Florida.

In order to get a bid for the 2014 Breeders Cup, they want to increase the seating capacity at Gulfstream from 20,000 to 50,000. If that sounds a little aggressive, keep in mind they managed to drop in 32 V.I.P. box seats in less than two weeks."

The project includes two 500-room hotels facing the track, a standalone casino and adjacent concert hall as well as a 4D theatre.

"The architectural drawings will be submitted to the city and the state very soon, within the next couple of weeks," said Gulfstream Park President Tim Ritvo.

Gulfstream's racing season opens this Saturday but with this type of investment, the Stronach group would want this place bustling more than four months a year. The city of Hallandale Beach likes that idea.

"If they go year round, that's going to draw more people here, more people  to our local businesses. More people to get interested in Hallandale Beach," said Peter Dobens of Hallandale Beach.

Horse racing fans like the idea too, especially getting a prestigious race card like the Breeder's Cup.

"It will bring more people in here from all over the world," said racing fan James Colborn. "I worked here in 1999, when they had the Breeder's Cup and it was excellent."

Gulfstream says they want to become a destination resort. In order to do that, you have to think big and they are thinking big in bronze.

Tim Ritvo/President Gulfstream Park

"This ultimate statue of Pegasus is being built right now," Ritvo said. "It will be 120 feet high, the worlds largest bronze statue, we believe."

Work is expected to begin on April 5th, the first day after this year's racing season ends.

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