Maryland Lawmakers Are Spending Money On Sports Facilities

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Pimlico

Money for renovated stadiums in Baltimore has been allocated, more money may be alloted.

What is going on in Maryland? The state seems to be all in for the sports industry. Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles’ ownership is getting at least $600 million to upgrade Baltimore’s baseball park from the state and the National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens’ ownership is getting $600 million from the state to upgrade Baltimore’s football stadium. The state also is interested in keeping the National Football League’s Washington Commanders franchise somewhere in Maryland although the Commanders’ owner Joel Harris may be interested in creating a bidding war between Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D. C. to fund a new Commanders’ stadium. Now there are reports that Maryland elected officials may be interested in speaking at length to the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards franchise and National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals’ business owner Ted Leonsis about getting the two franchises back in Maryland. The two franchises played in Maryland between 1973 and 1997. Leonsis wants to leave a Washington DC building but failed in his bid to move to Alexandria, Virginia across the Potomac River from Washington. Virginia legislators said no to funding Leonsis’ planned arena-village.

Maryland lawmakers are taking a close look at taking over the Pimlico racetrack in Baltimore. The 154-year-old racetrack is in desperate need of a renovation. The “Racing and Community Development Act of 2020” was passed in May 2020 shortly after the beginning of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maryland planned to invest $375 million to modernize two racetracks, Pimlico and Laurel Park. But nothing happened. Now, the Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill providing $400 million in public financing for the redevelopment of Pimlico Race Course and building a training facility for the state’s horse racing industry.  Maryland seems to be all in on sports facility spending.

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