Albany Racetrack Up for Sale After Parent Company Declares Bankruptcy

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The Golden Gate Fields racetrack in Albany was put on the market after its parent company declared bankruptcy Thursday.

Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns and operates various racetracks, filed bankruptcy after the recession took a toll on its finances, said the company's CEO Frank Stronach in a statement.

"Simply put, (Magna) has far too much debt and interest expense," Stronach said in the statement. "(Magna) has previously pursued numerous out-of-court restructuring alternatives but has been unable to complete a comprehensive restructuring to date due."

According to Golden Gate Fields Spokesperson Sam Spear, Magna has a debt of more than $959 million and has reached a tentative agreement with its parent company MI Developments to sell the racetrack and other assets.

"The economic downturn in real estate value contributed to why Magna went bankrupt," Spear said. "If you own property and ... (its value) decreased, then that causes a problem."

Despite the reorganization of Magna's assets, the racetrack will still be holding competitions, Spear said.

"The racetrack is up and running, and there will be no change in the order of business," he said.

Stronach said the internal restructuring will have no effect on the racetrack's employment.

"We expect that all employees, customers and horsemen will continue to be paid in the normal course along with all post-petition vendor obligations," Stronach said in the statement.

Spear said despite Magna's financial troubles, the racetrack-which was built in 1941-has been profitable and has increased its days of operation from 101 to 187.

"I think our promotions have been successful on the weekends," Spear said. "They attract newcomers, who normally wouldn't come. The park has been successful in introducing racing to potential customers."


Contact Melani Sutedja at [email protected]

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