The owners of Arlington International Racecourse have announced plans to sell the property to a developer, meaning that the 2021 racing season could be the last at the venerable facility.
According to a press release from Churchill Downs Incorporated, the 326-acre property in suburban Arlington Heights will be sold, and the company selling the property will aim to find a buyer who will redevelop it.
“Arlington’s ideal location in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, together with direct access to downtown Chicago via an on-site Metra rail station, presents a unique redevelopment opportunity. We expect to see robust interest in the site and look forward to working with potential buyers, in collaboration with the Village of Arlington Heights, to transition this storied location to its next phase,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI
The track has been a Chicago-area staple for nearly a century, opening in 1927.
It briefly shut down in 1998 and 1999, but it reopened in 2000 after Churchill Downs Incorporated purchased the track and rechristened it Arlington Park. It changed its name to Arlington International Racecourse in 2013.
According to officials, owners of the track will aim to relocate its racing license to another community in the state of Illinois.
“We are exploring potential options with the state and other constituents, and remain optimistic that we can find solutions that work for the state, local communities and the thousands of Illinoisans who make their living directly or indirectly through thoroughbred horse racing,” Carstanjen said.
According to the press release, the race track will host its full schedule of dates from April 30 to September 25. The sale is not expected to be completed before the racing calendar concludes, and the company says any sale is unlikely to impact the calendar.