Arcadia businesses will get an unprecedented fourth bump in five years from The Breeders’ Cup when it returns to Santa Anita Park in 2016 after a one-year hiatus following the two-day event this Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2014.
The announcement was made this morning, Tuesday, June 24, 2014, that Santa Anita has been chosen to once again host the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships November 4-5, 2016.
The 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships consists of 14 races and purses totaling $27 million and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Last year Breeders’ Cup attendance at Santa Anita was nearly 59,000 on the main Saturday race day, with about 36,000 on the first Friday competition day.
Arcadia Mayor John Wuo said the 2013 BC event generated $65 million in regional revenue, and much of that benefits Arcadia hotels, restaurants, and other local businesses.
<Story continues below the following video of the media event this morning…>
Santa Anita Park, which opened on Dec. 25, 1934, has recently undergone $35 million in capital improvements to areas such as the Club House Box Seat Area, Chandelier Room, Turf Terrace, Eddie Logan Suite and private suites atop the Grandstand Club House Box Seat Area. A multi-million dollar replacement of the dirt track will begin shortly after the final race of the season this weekend, the longest season ever at Santa Anita as a result of the closing of Hollywood Park.
“Arcadia has been a wonderful partner,” said Tom Ludt, President of Santa Anita Park. “Santa Anita Park offers horsemen, local fans and our many out-of-town guests the opportunity to experience the best that the sport has to offer, from racing to dining and hospitality. We look forward to working with the Breeders’ Cup to put on a very successful event both this year and again in 2016.”
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said that in addition to Southern California weather, Santa Anita is “the most beautiful race track you’ll ever see” and has now become a state-of-the-art facility with the new suites and other improvements.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith said during the media event this morning at Santa Anita’s track-side Clockers’ Corner — one of three near-simultaneous media announcement events across the country – that Santa Anita “truly is the best place to have (Breeders’ Cup).” And this from one of the all-time most successful jockeys in big-money races, who noted this morning that the Breeders’ Cup is more special to him than any of the Triple Crown races.
Also announced today was that the 2015 Breeders’ Cup will be staged for the first time at Keeneland Race Course, in Lexington, Ky. Oct. 30-31, and Nov. 3-4, 2017 for the first time at Del Mar, near San Diego. It’s only the second time in the event’s history and the first time since 1993 that the Breeders’ Cup has revealed on the same day more than one future host site for the World Championships.
The multi-year host site decision is part of Breeders’ Cup larger, forward-thinking growth strategy to showcase the best of what Thoroughbred racing has to offer and is an extension of the brand’s “The Best Is Yet To Come” campaign which promises a curated Thoroughbred racing experience that will attract the best horses, the best owners and the best marketing partners.