In a bid to put horse racing fans in the thick of the action, a Las Vegas-based casino executive wants to build a racetrack that features a moving grandstand that speeds alongside the horses as they circle the track.
“Races are very exciting if you’re a jockey, but if you’re not a jockey, it’s not so exciting because you can’t really see the whole thing,” said Daniel Lee, chief executive officer of Full House Resorts, which has proposed building the moving grandstand as part of a new resort in southeastern New Mexico. “This is the next best thing to being in the race as a jockey.”
Conventional grandstands, of course, provide good views of the racing action at the start and finish. But spectators typically must turn their gaze to trackside video screens when the horses are far away or on the backstretch.
The moving grandstand would keep pace with the horses, which typically run about 40 miles per hour, according to Lee.
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Illustrations of the moving grandstand show a sleek, glass-walled, streetcar-like vehicle that Lee said would accommodate around 200 spectators. The electric-powered grandstand would move along rails on the one-mile track's outer edge.
Lee said the inspiration for the moving grandstand was a special train operated in 1934 for a rowing race on the Hudson River near Poughkeepsie, New York. The train moved on tracks alongside the river and spectators aboard the train's sideways-facing seats were afforded continuous, close-up views of the action on the water.
"I looked at this and said, 'They were doing this in the 1920s and '30s, so we can do this today,'" Lee said.
The racetrack would be part of “La Posada del Llano,” a sprawling, $200-million resort proposed for Clovis, New Mexico, near the Texas border.
The proposal is one of several now being considered by the New Mexico Racing Commission, the Associated Press reported. The commission is expected to decide by the end of the year whether the proposal is approved.