The company presented its plans to the Ohio State Racing Commission, which has a say in the approval process with the Ohio Lottery Corp. Dayton Raceway will be the relocated Raceway Park in Toledo should the license transfer be approved.
The OSRC, as it did with plans for Miami Valley Gaming and Racing, the proposed relocated Lebanon Raceway, questioned seating capacity at Dayton Raceway, particularly should the track hold major racing events. OSRC chairman Robert Schmitz asked PNGI whether the company had discussed the plans with the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association.
"I have concerns on seating capacity," Schmitz said. "I found what you have submitted to be inadequate. It does not move racing forward in this state."
There will be no clubhouse dining room. There will, however, be a sports bar with seating for about 120 people.
The OSRC has also expressed disappointment with track proposals that don’t include barn areas.
PNGI vice president of racing Chris McErlean said the company has had talks with the OHHA, but not recently. He said current plans call for a ship-in barn with 120 stalls to accommodate 12 races per program.
“Ship-in facilities have become much more accepted in harness racing,” McErlean said. “Within about 30 miles of (Dayton Raceway) there are fairgrounds with thousands of stalls. They will play a big part in this.”
Miami Valley officials have said the same thing, and plan to use some stalls at the Warren County Fairgrounds, where Lebanon Raceway is located.
Raceway Park stopped using its barn area several years ago. If the plans for Dayton Raceway and Miami Valley are approved, the only Ohio harness tracks with barn areas will be Northfield Park and Scioto Downs.
In other business, Schmitz said Northfield Park increased purses 10 percent across the board as of March 1. Hard Rock is partnering with Northfield Park to build a video lottery terminal casino on the track’s property.