9 comments on “NYRA Board – agenda is now clear

  1. Tom we now know it is all about the VLT money for the State to grab for the general fund and more social programs and more money for education etc. Can’t see anything good coming from the state and who if any buys the 3 tracks. Don’t see much hope for racing in NY. We ave to enjoy Saratoga while it lasts. Joe

  2. The NYRA under Kay is becoming a scary enterprise. The feeling is that he wants to make the 3 tracks entertainment venues comes from his Universal Theme Park days and his Toys R Us governance. The man was hired admittedly only attending 5 horse races with his father. The racing business is multi faceted and needs an expert to run such a complex industry, Kay is not the man, which is why the Board is now looking for an additional position of V.P. of racing at another outrageous salary. A typical example of Kay’s ignorance was when Ramon Dominguez was honored and presented with his 3rd Eclipse award and Kay announced that Dominguez was the winner of 4,985 ‘matches’ (how about races Mr. Kay?) New York racing will indeed be in big trouble if he is left steering the ship.

  3. Cuomo’s disdain for racing is apparent to a blind man.His failure to attend the Travers for the second straight year speaks volumes.His death grip on racing should frighten anyone who makes a living in NY racing.

  4. Kay spending forty minutes mostly talking about the customer experience in not inconsequential. Tom, I’ll assume you were just distracted by what followed after that. It is possible that Skorton is trying to light a fire under the new managemnt to get spending under control. The spending in 2012 was about $7 million over budget. And this trend is continuing this year. Something has to be done about it.

    • NYRA has long needed expertise in the form of an individual/s with a higher level of business acumen. Perhaps Chris Kay can bring some of that. As a quasi state agency(before Cuomo seized it) profit or expense control was not a priority as NYRA had big brother to bail it out many times. There aren’t too many business models, if any, that produce profits from running a thoroughbred race track. NY State will have no takers in two years for privatization without guaranteed subsidies. A change of Govenors, if that happens, will probably see things stay as they are now, a mature business, without upside, maybe breaking even.

      Bold innovation and radical change is necessary to possibly make NY racing profitable, the Albany crowd will never allow it.

      • I think that the NYRA’s highest priority is to bring the Belmont franchise back to life. It is possible to bring back sports franchises. In Boston, the Patriots franchise, a historically poor franchise, was brought to life by the business acumen and love of the sport of the Kraft family. CEO Kay is focused on finding a niche for Belmont.

        For the long term, Kay spoke of hiring a consulting firm to help with a strategic business plan for future growth.

        I thought about how sports franchises are revitalized. To me, it comes down to the quality of the product and customer service. These are Kay’s top two priorities. I believe he is right on there.

  5. I watched the whole Board meeting online. I must admit the topic of the possibility of losing slots revenues came up enough times to make me feel uncomfortable. Maybe, Chairman Skorton knows more than he has let on. Nevertheless, I do believe it is the fiduciary responsiblity of the Board to focus on making the NYRA profitable at the operations level without slots revenues. It would be too risky otherwise. On a positive note, Chairman Skorton did say the NYRA is close to profitability already without slots revenues.

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