CDI drops New Latonia plans as $46m Turfway Park purchase looms

Louisville, Kentucky, headquartered gaming, racing and online entertainment firm Churchill Downs Incorporated has announced the $46m acquisition of Florence, Kentucky’s Turfway Park.

The definitive agreement was undertaken via CDI’s wholly-owned subsidiary NKYRG, with the deal alongside Jack Ohio, an affiliate of Jack Entertainment, and Hard Rock International subject to working capital and other purchase price adjustments. 

Upon receiving approval for the change of control, Churchill Downs is to withdraw its $200m New Latonia Racing and Gaming project proposal in Northern Kentucky, with the subsequent race dates application also to be cancelled.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is to meet next week to discuss the change of control, with the parties expecting to close the transaction shortly thereafter.

Immediately after closing, CDI is to commence planning for the demolition of the existing grandstand after the 2019-2020 meet, making way for development of Turfway Park Racing and Gaming, an up to $150m live and historical thoroughbred racing facility.

“We are thrilled to welcome Turfway Park to the Churchill Downs racing family,” noted Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Race Track. “Our team is poised to restore Turfway to its former glory, anchored by northern Kentucky’s first historical racing machine facility. 

“The result will be a first-class racing product fueled by increased purses that keeps high-quality horses in Kentucky year-round and appeals to horseplayers nationwide.”

New Turfway Park is anticipated to support up to 400 direct full and part time equivalent positions and create an estimated 800 direct construction jobs. 

The project will include a historical racing machine facility featuring up to 1,500 machines, a new “state-of-the-art” clubhouse, food and beverage venues and a new inner dirt track to complement the existing one-mile synthetic main race track.

The $46m acquisition price will be funded with cash from CDI’s balance sheet, with $36m, subject to certain working capital and other adjustments, to be paid to Jack, with the remaining $10m to be paid to Hard Rock.