SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association met New York City Wednesday to discuss the budget for the 2014 racing season.
The meeting and video conference was held by board members of NYRA. The main goal of the budget is to create a sustainable business model and grow revenues.
The board passed a price increase at the Saratoga Race Course but it is subject to change.
The proposal was passed under the condition that the board will now do research to see what the impact of the price increase would be. They plan to meet again in March to discuss the changes they may make to pricing before the season begins.
During the budget meeting, NYRA's CEO Christopher Kay talked about the 2014 budget proposal to increase prices at Saratoga Raceway for admission, box seats and parking.
Officials decided to have grandstand admission prices increase from $3 to $5 a ticket. Clubhouse admission prices would also increase, from $5 to $8 a ticket.
Some of the board members have mentioned the decline in attendance at the Saratoga Race Course but some officials say it was due to poor weather.
This comes after NYRA expects to lose $10.5 million in 2013 alone and a decline in attendance this past season.
Some NYRA officials voiced concern that raising prices is wrong but others argued that it is a way to gain more revenue.
"For those that claim that a $2 or $3 increase in admission prices would decrease attendance, may not be appreciating the amounts tourists are spending to travel, stay and dine in Saratoga while watching our races," said Kay.
Kay also stated that the increase would be modest, comparing the entry cost to the cost of hotels and restaurants in the area.
Some local track-goers told NEWS10 ABC that the possible price increase will not keep them from going to the track in 2014.
Guy Myers said "Well, I don't really think it's that bad of an idea because it's a pretty nice place to go. It's a nice summer for families."
NYRA's 2014 budget also includes potential improvements to track experience at Saratoga Raceway.
"We will be installing several hundred new flat screen televisions throughout the entire facility including 350 flat screen monitors in the backyard another 200 in the grandstand and clubhouse," said Kay. "We'll also be installing several new high definition large video screens for our guests in the backyard."