New Castle News

Hot Topics

April 17, 2013

Ohio tracks still waiting for design decision

NEW CASTLE — The wait for a racetrack in Austintown continues.

The Ohio State Racing Commission members Tuesday agreed to extend the time it will take to reach a decision on the design of racetracks proposed by Penn National Gaming Inc.

Penn National spokesman Bob Tenenbaum said officials made “an extensive presentation” outlining compromises the gaming giant plans to make at the two racetrack sites.

“We explained how we planned to move forward ..., compared what we are proposing to other sites through the United States and asked the commission to reassess the project and allow us to build as we proposed.”

Tenenbaum said Penn National is willing to “accept some conditions,” including taking another look at the facility a year after it opens and determine if expansion is needed.

The commission and Penn National remain at odds over “indoor, climate-controlled, full view of the track” seating to be included in the facility. Penn National’s plans propose 518 seats that meet that definition and a total of 1,410 seats that include outdoor bleachers.

Ohio officials earlier had called for more than 600 indoor seats with views of the track.

“We believe what we offer in Austintown and Dayton is more than adequate,” Tenenbaum said.

Ohio officials, including the horsemen’s association, have expressed concerns that Penn National is not offering enough seating, he said.

“They’re concerned that people will come in, not find a seat, say ‘It’s too crowded,’ and leave. We’re concerned that someone might come in, look around and not see anyone. In the hospitality industry, you don’t want either of those scenarios.”

The commission, he said, has agreed to continue to consider the issue. The commission’s next scheduled meeting is May 16, but the board will decide in the next seven to 10 days if a special meeting will be called.

”We’re in a delay situation at this time,” he said, adding, “No one expected the commission to take a vote today on this. We had anticipated that an update would be held.”

Tenenbaum said Penn National has currently “deactivated” the Austintown site pending a resolution, and called off plans to award contracts for foundation work and structural steel.

“We had been within a week of awarding those contracts.”

Penn National is committed to construct two $125 million facilities — a thoroughbred track in Austintown and a harness racetrack in Dayton. It also agreed to pay the state a $75 million relocation fee and $50 million license fee for each project.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Hot Topics
  • Our Opinion: New study suggests problem with some state shale gas wells

    A recent study of leaks from shale gas wells raises more questions than it answers. And because of the growing presence of shale gas wells in Pennsylvania, it’s essential that both government and industry provide clarity.

    July 9, 2014

  • 08.jpg Gaming board asked to take a chance here

    Lawrence County deserves a chance, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was Thursday. All seven board members, their staff, hearing officer Linda Lloyd and 200 to 225 others attended the board’s public hearing at the Mahoning Township Community Center.

    May 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Casino.jpg Area residents, groups to speak at casino hearing

    Some 55 individuals and organizations have registered to speak tomorrow at the Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort Public Input Hearing. The list was released yesterday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Board, which will conduct the hearing at 10 a.m. at the Community Center in Mahoning Township on Route 224.

    May 7, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Austintown racing complex anticipates fall opening

    Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course will open in the fall. No specific date has been set, but work is progressing on several fronts on 186 acres in Austintown, Ohio. The site — less than 30 miles from New Castle — is accessible from Ohio Routes 46 and 11 and Interstate 80.

    May 7, 2014

  • gavel.jpg Holdout property owners file for injunction

    Holdout landowners are asking Commonwealth Court to declare that forced pooling violates the state constitution.

    May 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Holdout landowners retain Pittsburgh attorney; ask hearings be postponed

    A Pittsburgh attorney is asking that next month’s hearings on forced pooling be postponed. Atty. Omar Abuhejleh also filed a motion with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Friday allowing the affected landowners to formally intervene in the case filed by Hilcorp Energy Co.

    April 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangers of fracking the topic at Villa Maria

    Public health concerns about fracking must be addressed, a nurse practitioner told approximately 150 people at Villa Maria on Thursday.

    April 26, 2014

  • Bobosky.jpg Gas holdouts unconvinced of safety

    When Suzanne Matteo and her husband, Martin, bought their house on four acres in Pulaski Township they had a plan. They would grow a huge vegetable garden, raise lots of flowers and a few chickens and enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Anti fracking group waits for answer to its letter

    More than 20 state environmental groups are asking that March 25 and 26 hearings on proposed “forced pooling” be postponed. They say more time is necessary to allow members of the public to voice their opinions.

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Hilcorp_Energy.jpg Hilcorp seeks to force drilling on reluctant landowners

    A hearing has been set on a request to force local landowners to allow gas and oil drilling. Hilcorp Corp., a Texas firm with multiple well pads in the area, is asking for the so-called “forced pooling.”

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

"State Fair" opens at the New Castle Playhouse tonight. Will you be checking out the show?

Definitely! I've already got my tickets.
Maybe. I'm not sure.
Nah, it's not for me.
     View Results