Back in November, I reported on the impending shuttering of Scarborough Downs, a harness track in Maine. It is now, I happily write, a done deal. Earlier this week, Fansided posted a piece entitled, I happily write, “Scarborough Downs and the death rattles of a sport.” This paragraph fairly sums why it closed and why, long-term, the prognosis for all racing, but most especially the harness variety, is very bad indeed.
“The Downs was the victim of national trends. Between 2003 and 2017, betting on racing dropped by 50 percent. More than $100 million in tax dollars was pumped into the industry in Maine in the last two decades, but the crowds continued to shrink. In January of 2018, the owner of Scarborough Downs, Sharon Terry, sold the property for $6.7 million to Crossroads Holdings LLC, which has begun to develop a mixed-use suburb in Scarborough, complete with office buildings and rows of condos.”
Stop propping up a dying industry; redirect those billions (nationwide) in subsidies where they belong – education, infrastructure, etc. Then set about redeveloping those valuable properties into jobs producers and revenue generators. Sounds good to me.