Posted By: Camila Orti
The first phase of the new Lincoln Race Course is now open to the public.
Dozens of people attended the ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning, and some horse race enthusiasts have high hopes for the new facility's plans.
"I was out here at 7:30 this morning waiting for these doors to open," Fred Meyer said.
With more than 230 TVs and three giant projection screens, it's a simulcaster's dream.
"They're extremely brilliant and the definition on them is really good, so it's going to be a whole new ball game here," long-time simulcaster Steve Thiellen said.
The $6 million building is located on the southwest edge of town near Hwy 77 and West Denton Road. It's designed mostly for simulcasting, but also features an indoor smoking room and a sports bar that serves food all day.
It's opening only marks phase one of the project.
"What we hope to do is be the anchor to this area of town and the small communities and hopefully grow this side of town and the businesses in this area," General Manager Christy Harris said.
Harris says the next step is raising funds to build the track for live races. The last live horse race in Lincoln happened last year at the race course located on the old state fairgrounds. It closed this past Sunday.
Vice President for Racing at Omaha Exposition and Racing Greg Hosch says the future looks bright for Nebraska.
"Once they get the project done with the mile race track, the barn area, the grandstand, you know, heck, we'll be on a national level again," Hosch said.