The Emerald Downs horse racing facility in Auburn, Washington opened its doors way back in 1996 and has been extremely popular with gamblers and horse betting enthusiasts. The land on which Emerald Downs is located was purchased by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe for close to $70 million in 2004. The Muckleshoot Indian tribe recently announced that it planned to take over the operation of the race track which was previously being managed by the Northwest Racing Associates.
The Washington Horse Racing Commission had no objections to the deal and has approved the Muckleshoot Indian tribe proposal. The tribe will continue to use the services of ex track president Ron Crockett who will now serve as a consultant. The tribe plans to aggressively promote and grow the horse racing and betting industry in Washington and capitalize on additional revenues generated.
In a statement, Virginia Cross, Muckleshoot Tribal Council Chair said “The Tribe’s long-standing support of the state’s thoroughbred racing industry continues with this transaction. It is the Tribe’s goal to keep the Thoroughbred horse racing industry as a viable part of our state’s economy.
The 2015 horse racing season is expected to start on the 18th of April and the tribe has already made changes to ensure that this season is the best season ever. The tribe announced a 20% increase in all purses for the 2015 season and will also install giant size television screens which will provide real time images and information to race track visitors. The screens are expected to be around 45-feet by 30 feet and will enable betting enthusiasts to get easy access to real time information and place bets quickly.
The tribe has been providing $12 million in purse supplements to Emerald Downs from 2004. Now that the tribe has taken complete ownership in the operation and running of the race track, a number of new changes and promotions are expected to take place. The tribe confirms that one of its main focuses will be to improve the overall fan experience. The tribe has put together an innovative plan but is yet to reveal all the details.
The Muckleshoots also own and operate the nearby Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn.