BALTIMORE, Md — Ex officio Mayor Jack Young addressed concerns about safety at a press conference Wednesday after officials announced the events for the week prior to the Preakness Stakes.
Recently, the Maryland Jockey Club announced that more than 6,500 seats are too dangerous to be used in the 144th Preakness.
Young claims the poor conditions of the property are because the owners, The Stronach Group, neglected the property and do not want Preakness to stay in Baltimore. He also says the Maryland Jockey Club has provided city officials with "preliminary information" for their plans for hosting the Preakness, if matters are left unaddressed.
The Stronach Group, who owns the jockey club, Pimlico and Laurel Park, denied Young’s claim that the facility is unsafe due to neglect.
“It’s a false narrative that the facilities have been neglected. Pimlico is over 100 years old and certain facilities, like the grandstand in the third division, have been exposed all that time to the elements," said Bill Hecht of The Stronach Group. "Both our engineers and MSA have concluded that it is in need of major repairs or replacement, which in either case is prohibitively costly.”
Attendees who purchased tickets in northern portion of the grandstand area were provided with other seating.