Dozens Rally in Albany for Belmont Park Redevelopment in State Budget

belmont park
Courtesy We Are NY Horse Racing

Dozens Rally in Albany for Belmont Park Redevelopment in State Budget

More than 100 workers and elected officials held a rally at the state capitol on Monday in support of including the redevelopment of Elmont’s Belmont Park in New York State’s 2023-24 budget.

The gathering in Albany was organized by a coalition called We Are NY Horse Racing, which advocates for the sport and promotes its benefits for the economy. In this case, the group says a modernized Belmont Park would create thousands of jobs and over a billion dollars in economic impact, as well as freeing up space for development at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

“What’s good for Belmont is good for Elmont,” said New York State Assemblymember Michaelle Solages (D-Elmont). “What’s good for Belmont is good for Long Island. What’s good for Belmont is good for New York State. Making sure we protect this state asset is so essential.

The issue has drawn bipartisan support. Republican State Sen. Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick said, “This is so important that we vitalize Belmont. We are bringing so many needed jobs to the area of Elmont.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul has included the project in her proposed executive budget for fiscal year 2024. The coalition is composed of union workers, business owners, veterinarians, trainers, and legislators from Long Island and other parts of New York.

“When you support a new Belmont, you support union jobs,” said Anthony Villa, president of the Carpenters Local 290 Union. “Horse racing supports jobs that New York’s working class is built on.”

Hochul’s new budget is due April 1.