Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Approves Sale of Turfway Park

The $46 million purchase by Churchill Downs is part of a $150 million plan to renovate the site.

Renderings of Turfway Park renovations - Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs
Renderings of Turfway Park renovations

Turfway Park is changing hands as part of a $150 million plan by Churchill Downs to create what it calls "New Turfway Park." 

The 15 members of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission unanimously approved the deal, clearing the way for it to move forward.

The sale of the Florence, Kentucky horse racing venue comes after a pending deal between former owners JACK Entertainment and Hard Rock International valued at $35 million. That deal was part of a larger, $780 million arrangement by Hard Rock to purchase JACK Casino in Cincinnati. Only the casino sale closed, however, for $745 million.

Churchill Downs will pay JACK $36 million for Turfway and $10 million to Hard Rock under the new deal.

Turfway's new owners will begin work on the renovation project in April next year. Company officials hope to have the project finished by summer 2021. 

Commission members mostly applauded the project, saying it would bring new investment to the dated facility. The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce also expressed enthusiasm for the deal in a statement.

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