Maryland Stadium Authority Management of the Redevelopment of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park Project on Track


Procuring and Engaging Professionals to Partner on this Historic and Highly Complex, Multi-Step, Multi-Jurisdictional, Multi-Year Project Is Underway

BALTIMORE, MD –The Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) today announced that the redevelopment of Pimlico racing facility and Laurel Park racing facility is underway. With the enactment of the Racing and Community Development Act of 2020 legislation in June, the MSA is authorized to finance up to $375 million for the planning, design, and construction of the Pimlico and Laurel Park racing facilities. Previously, MSA managed the Pimlico Race Course studies that examined the present conditions of Pimlico, then envisioned an ideal venue for the Preakness Stakes with year-round non-racing use of the facility for the benefit of the community.

“Maryland’s rich equestrian history and robust industry will be further enhanced with the redevelopment of its racing facilities and may be a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. The Maryland Stadium Authority is assembling a world-class team for delivering world-class facilities further positioning Maryland’s place as the destination for equestrian sports,” said Thomas Kelso, chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority.

Immediately upon the enactment of the legislation, MSA initiated the preliminary planning stages of procuring and engaging professionals to partner on this historic, highly complex, multi-jurisdiction, multi-year project. The project will primarily include construction and improvements of the racecourses, stables and clubhouses, at sites in both the City of Baltimore and Anne Arundel County.  
MSA is especially pleased with the volume and variety of local, national and international firms that have already expressed interest in the project. Timely and thorough review of the Request for Proposals received for Architecture / Engineering services will be needed with a selection by first quarter of 2021. MSA expects to manage a larger than usual multi-discipline team of professionals with many supporting sub-teams to execute the multi-faceted, multi-jurisdictional project. To date, MSA has initiated a procurement / sought interested firms for the following services: Design and Engineering; Equine Health, Safety and Research Center. MSA will conduct additional procurements in the very near future for additional services including  the selection of contractors at each facility to engage in the design process and ultimately build the facility. Thus far, the pandemic has not impeded the planning and timing of the project.

Additional next steps include continuing to work with key stakeholders to: refine plans and logistics necessary to execute the project and develop, negotiate and enter into the various agreements required by the legislation. The focus over the next few months will be solidifying the transition plan of training and racing functions while each facility is in construction. After the transition plan is agreed to, a schedule for each facility will be released.

To that end, the Maryland Racing Steering Committee was created. In addition to MSA, the members include the Maryland Racing Commission, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Anne Arundel County, the City of Baltimore and The Stronach Group. The multi-disciplinary expertise of the committee members will facilitate and direct the many decisions necessary in this multi-faceted, multi-phased redevelopment project. Already the committee identified the key factors that should guide the programming and project execution decisions such as: Equine Health and Safety; Horseman Health and Safety; Operational Efficiency; Operational Sustainability; Customer Experience; Financial Limitations and; Scheduling Implications. Additional sub-committees will be formed to address specific project needs.

Numerous agreements, as required by the legislation, must be in place before MSA can issue bonds and break ground on the project. The project parties are actively working on the agreements.

While not directly within the scope of MSA’s role in the project, a housing solution for equine staff for both Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park is essential to the success of the redevelopment of the racing facilities and supports the bond issuance process. Modernized dormitories greatly contribute to the health, safety and well-being of the trainers, riders and groomers who work daily with the thoroughbred athletes.

“Whenever the Governor, the legislature or local municipalities ask the Maryland Stadium Authority to take on additional projects such as the Redevelopment of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park, our response is ‘we’re here to serve,’” said Michael Frenz, executive director of the Maryland Stadium Authority.

MSA understands and appreciates the public interest in this exciting project and will continue to make announcements on next steps as appropriate.  The design process is expected to take two years to complete.

The MSA was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1986 to build, manage and maintain quality facilities to retain Major League Baseball, and return the National Football League to Maryland. MSA’s mission has expanded and evolved over the past 34 years, to include sports marketing, and numerous economic studies and construction projects like the redevelopment of Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park. To date MSA has completed $3 billion of projects across the state.

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