SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The countdown to opening day of the Saratoga Race Course is almost up. With kickoff one day away, local officials and business are gearing up for a very busy season.
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will be opening all sections at Saratoga Race Course at 100% capacity.
“You couldn’t ask for a city that is bustling more than Saratoga Springs right now. We are ready to open, and we are ready to welcome people to the track,” said Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly.
With an influx of people back in the city, Lt. Bob Jillson of the Saratoga Police Department says more eyes will be on the streets.
“It’s really exciting to have people back but it also presents it’s challenges. More people will be out and luckily we don’t police a city amongst ourselves. We have partnerships with state police and local sheriff offices,” said he.
As Saratoga Springs deals with an increase of violence and civil unrest, Mayor Meg Kelly told News10 she did not want comment on it and referred us to police.
Lt. Jillson says recent incidents should not affect track season. However he says they are prepared if anything changes.
“The racetrack runs from like 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. People go there have their fun and typically we don’t have any major incidents out there. I mean obviously we start preparing for that because it is another additional area of concern that we may have to deal with,” said he.
While local officials gear up for the track coming back, local restaurants like the Parting Glass are ready to make up for loss revenue.
The Parting Glass received assistance from David Portnoy’s Barstool Fund. The owner says Portnoy committed to sending enough money each month to keep the pub open until the pandemic is over.
On opening day of the track the Parting Glass will be serving a special drink called Portnoy punch after David Portnoy’s generous contributions.
“We are excited to be busy again, and excited to see people we haven’t seen in almost two years,” said Jackie Civietello, bartender at the Parting Glass.
The 2021 summer meet at Saratoga runs from July 15 through September 6, 2021.