Horseracers Present Plan for Metra
A proposal for a multi-use grandstand facility that would also accommodate horseracing in the same location as the recently removed grandstand was presented to county commissioners on Tuesday by Beth Koch, President of the Billings Turf Club.
Kock said that her organization was presenting the plan as an option for the Metra Park Master Plan for Metra Park’s Advisory Board and administrators, who are soliciting public input. County Commissioners acted to raze the historic grandstands late this fall along with a number of other older buildings at Metra Park, a county owned facility.
The proposed plan could bring horseracing back to Billings with a three-pronged approach of the county, Metra Park and the industry partnership and to help raise money for the project.
Kock advocated for the return of horseracing to Billings and Metra Park saying that at one time it was calculated that horseracing brought $4 million to the community ever year. It’s been ten years since Billings hosted any horseracing.
In 2021, there will be two race meets, one in Miles City and the other in Great Falls, for which the Board of Horseracing has provided $628,000, according to Koch. Koch said, “We could have gotten dates for Yellowstone County if there was a race track.” She went on to say that the Board of Horseracing wants to add another track.
Koch raises and trains horses which she races in Wyoming, where she said there are 1700 head of race horses, and where they will have 50 days of racing in 2021. Wyoming’s experience is something that should and could be duplicated in Montana, given the revenues expected to be generated through the advent of Historical Horseracing, which is expected to become a reality in Montana, believe many sport and gaming enthusiasts.