PALATINE— After news that Churchill Downs, Inc. planned to move ahead on the sale of Arlington Park, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) issued the following statement:
“Arlington Park has had such a deep connection to Arlington Heights and the northwest suburbs for so many decades. 30 years after its re-construction, it remains a unique and beautiful facility for horse racing and many other community events. They’ve even helped most recently by serving as a COVID-19 testing site.
“While it’s certainly a sad day for horse racing fans, it’s not entirely unsurprising news, especially given the proliferation of other forms of gambling in Illinois since 1990, including most recently sports betting. Churchill Downs is a publicly traded company, and they have a major stake in non-racing gambling activities across the country, including nearby Rivers Casino, the state’s largest gambling facility by receipts.
“The property is prime real estate for commercial, residential, or mixed use, and it’s understandable that Churchill Downs’ board would be looking for a buyer. Arlington Heights, Palatine, and Rolling Meadows offer so much, and local officials should work together to help ensure the future development is of great benefit to our area. There might be some parallels to what Glenview did with the former Glenview Naval Air Station, which is also near major expressways and a Metra line,” Morrison said.