Gural steps in to operate Meadowlands

December 21, 2011 03:41PM

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From left: Newmark Knight Frank Chairman Jeffrey Gural and the Meadowlands Racetrack

Newmark Knight Frank Chairman Jeffrey Gural has signed a 30-year lease to operate the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, according to the Associated Press. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has long sought a private operator for the track, so that taxpayers wouldn’t continue to subsidize what’s become a losing entity. This year, the track is projected to lose $11 million. The deal ensures a full slate of races at the track, beginning Jan. 6.

“Obviously I am relieved that we made [it] over the finish line,” said Gural, who also owns two horse farms and Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs in upstate New York.

Monmouth Park, another of the state’s troubled, publicly operated horse racing tracks, also reached a separate agreement to run a full schedule in 2012 without subsidies to racing purses.

Christie lauded the deals for defending “the public interest,” without interrupting races or losing jobs. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority will vote on the deals Friday. [AP via WSJ]