New horse racing track planned for Lincoln

Courtesy: The Clark Enersen Partners

By: Kelly Sommariva

More development may be coming to the capital city. A new proposal would bring a horse track to southwest Lincoln. But it still needs county approval. The race is on for a new track in Lincoln.

“You'll drive up from down south and up north and see the race track where it will look really neat. It's kind of a new front door for Lincoln,” Rick Kiolbasa with Greenleaf Properties said.

For more than 4 years, the Nebraska Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has been searching for a new location to replace the one at old State Fair Park.

“We were kind of looking for each other perhaps. We were looking for something exciting to get the development kicked off and the horse track folks were looking for a good location,” Kiolbasa said.

That location is southwest Lincoln, at Highway 77 and West Denton road. The new facility would have a 1 mile track, a grandstand, and enough barn space for about 1,000 horses and it would be out here near Denton, where that controversial Wal-Mart was proposed several years ago.

Wal-Mart pulled out when the economy slumped.  Since then the area has sat empty, ready for commercial development, but with no one to saddle up to the project.

Taxpayer money wouldn't be used to pay for this. Funding would come from simulcasting earnings in south Sioux City. The track will take up about 70 acres, leaving some available for Lincoln to keep growing.

“The rest of the development is still available to us to build a couple hotels convenience stores some other retail maybe some apartments,” Kiolbasa said.

The Horsemen will present the plan to the county planning commission this week.  That process does include public meetings. And they're hoping to have that completed by late summer.